Author Topic: Housecleaning service  (Read 27721 times)

Setters-r-Better

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Housecleaning service
« on: September 25, 2014, 06:28:06 PM »
Do you pay for housecleaning?  How much does it cost?

How antimustachian is it to pay for this?  How do you justify it, especially if you're not FI yet?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 06:53:18 PM »
Housecleaning services are generally considered facepunch-worthy.

Remember that the 4% withdrawal rate means that every $10 monthly expense ($120/year) has to have $3,000 of capital backing it up before you can retire. How much is your cleaning service? $50/month? $100? Are you comfortable delaying your financial independence long enough to save an extra $15-30k just so you don't have to clean your own toilets? It sounds like an absurd proposition to me.

fujiters

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 07:11:27 PM »
Housecleaning services are generally considered facepunch-worthy.

Remember that the 4% withdrawal rate means that every $10 monthly expense ($120/year) has to have $3,000 of capital backing it up before you can retire. How much is your cleaning service? $50/month? $100? Are you comfortable delaying your financial independence long enough to save an extra $15-30k just so you don't have to clean your own toilets? It sounds like an absurd proposition to me.

Your absurd proposition made me consider getting a housecleaner. When I think of it in terms of would I rather retire now and have to clean my house, or work another couple of months and never have to clean it again, I think I would choose working a couple more months. Clearly I must either hate cleaning more than most people, or like my job a lot more.

Rage

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 07:29:47 PM »
$30K should be enough to buy a "lifetime membership" to having someone clean your house for you ($100/mo)

But there are costs to not doing things yourself too.  Usually it starts out with you hire some lady on a recommendation.  The first cleaning is great.  Eventually business picks up and she hires a helper.  Quality of the service goes down a bit.  At some point the original person you hired has a team of helpers, and who cleans your house changes from month to month, and quality is horrible.  Worst case scenario, valuables start disappearing. 

As an example of quality issues, at our last house they would really bang up the trim running the vacuum around.  I guess the previous owner had painted the trim without applying a primer so it chipped really easily.  Anyway, the cleaning people beat the shit out of it, which cost me a lot of time when we went to sell it.  They also broke about half of the drawstrings for our blinds.  I won't bother to complain about missed spots, etc.

Anyway, we pay for someone to clean the house once a month, because it keeps the wife happy.  But it's not great for saving money, and it's not that great overall.

Zikoris

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 07:40:30 PM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2014, 07:41:39 PM »
Housecleaning services are generally considered facepunch-worthy.

Remember that the 4% withdrawal rate means that every $10 monthly expense ($120/year) has to have $3,000 of capital backing it up before you can retire. How much is your cleaning service? $50/month? $100? Are you comfortable delaying your financial independence long enough to save an extra $15-30k just so you don't have to clean your own toilets? It sounds like an absurd proposition to me.

Your absurd proposition made me consider getting a housecleaner. When I think of it in terms of would I rather retire now and have to clean my house, or work another couple of months and never have to clean it again, I think I would choose working a couple more months. Clearly I must either hate cleaning more than most people, or like my job a lot more.
I just talked to SO about this. He suggested we could divide up the money we aren't using (we are retired) into different accounts - one for a cleaner....

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 08:04:17 PM »
I was paying $110/month for a once a month deep cleaning. but now that my SO is gone I find it very easy to keep the house clean and I cancelled. I think that I hired them in a moment of weakness, because I was so tired of cleaning up after him all of the time. When one person is much neater than the other it is a way to keep the peace, but if everyone picks up after themselves it is really a waste,

Prepube

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 08:30:31 PM »
I work at my job about 65 hours per week.  I have a cleaning person come every other week.  She costs me 20 per hour when she's working, and I can make up to 175 per hour when I'm working. Makes sense to me to have someone help me out with this rather than use my time that way.  If I'm doing it, I am losing 155 dollars an hour.  If I work an extra hour and a half once a month, I have made enough for her to clean my house two times.

That makes more sense to me than your logic about 30000 paying for 100 dollars in cleaning or whatever.  Buy whatever you want if you are reaching your other goals and are not in debt.  You'll still FIRE without being an extremist mustachian if you set reasonable goals.

MrsPete

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 08:53:58 PM »
If I could go back in time to when my children were small, I would hire housecleaning.  We were fine before we had children, and we're fine now that the kids are older -- but when I was balancing caring for small children, working, and doing ALL the housework myself, it was too much.  It's really the only thing about which my husband and I fought.  At that point, we didn't do it because of money, but it absolutely would've made my life better -- and it would've made my husband's life better because I wouldn't have been resentful over the constant issues with cleaning.  NOT simply hiring out the job is one of my biggest regrets. 

When my girls have children of their own, I'll probably give them a year's worth of housecleaning as a baby shower gift. 

MarciaB

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 09:31:02 PM »
I'm going to weigh in with a different take on this - and that is that hiring someone (local, independent) is a good thing for the local economy. I hired someone who worked hard and did a great job. And the money she made was really important for her family. Her husband was disabled, she had a couple of kids, and the family benefited greatly from her honest work.

Why did I hire her? I was working a job, had an terminally ill husband, and we were running a business. We needed the help. And she needed the work.

Sometimes hiring things out is a good thing for yourself and others.

Anonymous Coward

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 09:33:27 PM »
Yes

$100 per visit. She does laundry

We are both very busy and are in the top tax bracket. We are very lucky but the cost is a rounding error and much cheaper than getting divorced

woodnut

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 09:42:51 PM »
We used to have a housecleaning service, before i started reading MMM.  Looking back now, when I first got the housecleaning service, I can still justify it as a needed service.  My wife was involved in an auto accident and was unable to perform her role as a SAHM.  I immediately cut back to half time at work, and worked from home 100%.  I was unexpectedly thrust into the role of SAHD, caretaker of my wife, and was suffering horrible anxiety from dealing with all of this and other unpleasantries.  I hired a housecleaning service and lawn service to free up some time to focus on the more important stuff.  Honestly, I don't know how you single parents do it all, you folks are superheroes.  As my wife was recovering, I told her you know the new cleaning ladies do a much better job than the previous cleaning lady, maybe we should keep them.  My wife hates housework, so the old cleaning lady had no problem being fired.  BTW, the lawn service did not get renewed the following summer.

The service we hired was a little unique.  Five ladies showed up at once, busted their butts and scared the shit out of the cat for an hour and then they were gone.  The owner of the company charged $75 every two weeks.  Doing the math, that's $15/hr per lady.  The owner had liability insurance, mini-vans for the crews, had to pay SS, other expenses, and still needed to turn a profit.  I figured the ladies were only getting half at $7.50/hr.  I didn't feel right paying them so little, so we left each of them a $5 tip each cleaning.  So in reality it cost us $100 every two weeks.

After discovering MMM and doing the math, the cleaning service was going to cost us $37,500 over 10yrs.  I whittled away other expenses, but left this one alone.   I would drop hints, but I knew my wife was going to be reluctant.  She loved having the cleaning ladies and so did I, but I could no longer justify the expense in my head.  I showed her the math, and said in 10yrs, both your daughters will be in college.  That $37.5K will pay for an entire year of college for one of them.  She agreed with my logic and if I would have said then we are cancelling the service she would have gone along and not protested, but I could tell she was still not 100% sold yet.  I thought about it some more and came up with a new proposal.  I said since the cleaning ladies come every two weeks, why don't we have a family cleaning every two weeks also.  Not just you, but me and the girls also.  She actually teared up a little and said "I would love that".  She was sold.  We no longer have a cleaning service and are having family cleaning days.  The girls complain somewhat, but are more helpful than I thought they would be and plus they are learning a work ethic.  I'm kind of sick, I actually like housecleaning, WHEN I HAVE THE TIME.

I know not all will concur with my logic, but that's my long winded story on housecleaning as it pertains to my new found mustachism.

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2014, 05:40:36 AM »
If I could go back in time to when my children were small, I would hire housecleaning.  We were fine before we had children, and we're fine now that the kids are older -- but when I was balancing caring for small children, working, and doing ALL the housework myself, it was too much.  It's really the only thing about which my husband and I fought.  At that point, we didn't do it because of money, but it absolutely would've made my life better -- and it would've made my husband's life better because I wouldn't have been resentful over the constant issues with cleaning.  NOT simply hiring out the job is one of my biggest regrets. 

When my girls have children of their own, I'll probably give them a year's worth of housecleaning as a baby shower gift.

We don't have housecleaning,  never have....but this generally sums up how I feel.  Im working on training the kids to help,  but they are not very good at it (8 and 10 yrs old), and walking them through every step is still a lot of work for me. Everything just feels so gross and grimey all the time, carpet is nasty....etc. I don't think we can afford it yet,  but maybe in a couple years....it sure sounds nice.

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2014, 05:51:38 AM »
Housecleaning services are generally considered facepunch-worthy.

Remember that the 4% withdrawal rate means that every $10 monthly expense ($120/year) has to have $3,000 of capital backing it up before you can retire. How much is your cleaning service? $50/month? $100? Are you comfortable delaying your financial independence long enough to save an extra $15-30k just so you don't have to clean your own toilets? It sounds like an absurd proposition to me.
If it were just cleaning toilets,  I would agree.  But its the toilets,  bathtubs,  showers,  mirrors,  sinks, laundry, dusting,  vacuuming, dog bathing,  dog brushing, dishes, cooking, windows, wood floors,budgeting,  grocery shopping......it just feels like so much. 

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2014, 05:55:03 AM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

GuitarStv

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2014, 05:58:42 AM »
Do you pay for housecleaning?  How much does it cost?

How antimustachian is it to pay for this?  How do you justify it, especially if you're not FI yet?

No, I don't pay for housecleaning.  I have hands AND legs, thus am able to move to whatever location in my house is in need of cleaning to perform the task.

If you need to pay for housecleaning it's most likely an indication that something is wrong.  Your house is too big, your time is too overbooked, you are too lazy.  All of those are fixable, but none by hiring a cleaning service.

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2014, 05:59:56 AM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

And yes,  I'm a little bit pot stirring here :-) I think I'd have to be nearly FI before I could part with the money for this kind of service.  But I totally WANT house cleaning :-)

kaetana

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2014, 06:18:17 AM »
If you need to pay for housecleaning it's most likely an indication that something is wrong.  Your house is too big, your time is too overbooked, you are too lazy.  All of those are fixable, but none by hiring a cleaning service.

+1. If you need a housecleaner, I think you've got an excellent opportunity for some decluttering and simplifying of your life.

Gggirl

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2014, 06:50:09 AM »
I had cleaning service when kids were small.  I was working 3 days a week and home with them 2 days a week.  I didn't want to spend my time with them cleaning nor weekend time.  It was worth it.  I stopped service when they started school.  Now they are older I just hired a cleaning service.  With the after school activities, homework, sport practices,etc.  It is worth our time to pay someone.  We are FI. 

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2014, 07:12:58 AM »
We don't have housecleaning,  never have....but this generally sums up how I feel.  Im working on training the kids to help,  but they are not very good at it (8 and 10 yrs old), and walking them through every step is still a lot of work for me. Everything just feels so gross and grimey all the time, carpet is nasty....etc. I don't think we can afford it yet,  but maybe in a couple years....it sure sounds nice.

You mean parenting is a lot of work? Maybe you need a cleaning service and a nanny - lol.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 07:15:53 AM by HairyUpperLip »

thedayisbrave

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2014, 07:17:48 AM »
To me it's facepunch-worthy unless you are physically unable to clean your home.

I knew a lady once who, after a divorce, was stressing out about her budget and how she was going to live.  She had $150/month budgeted for house cleaning yet claimed she was scared that she was going to "live as a pauper."

Zikoris

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2014, 08:07:28 AM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?

The Resilent Dame

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2014, 08:12:04 AM »
If you need to pay for housecleaning it's most likely an indication that something is wrong.  Your house is too big, your time is too overbooked, you are too lazy.  All of those are fixable, but none by hiring a cleaning service.

+1. If you need a housecleaner, I think you've got an excellent opportunity for some decluttering and simplifying of your life.

Disagree.

I own my own business, my husband owns his own businesses. We have a young child (5 years old) and my disabled mother-in-law lives with us. Our weekly housecleaner is some of the best money that we spend. Why?
1. I do not learn a new skill by cleaning toilets, showers, vacuuming, mopping, dusting each week, unlike when I can teach myself electrical wiring or other things DIY with my properties.
2. We pay her about $22/hr. for 2 hours of work each week. I literally do need to budget my time and have a to-do list a mile long of projects, both in my businesses and at home that need my attention. My rate is much higher than $22/hr. And it IS that rate because of #1 (not acquiring any new skills and actually wasting my time not learning other skills).
3. I do not like cleaning. I'm spending $ on my values.
4. I already spend too much time doing laundry, dishes, cooking home cooked meals, etc. and don't spend enough time with my 5 year old son. I've thought about having her do my laundry but my husband doesn't want her touching his underwear.

In my world, it is worth every penny.

The Resilent Dame

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2014, 08:13:44 AM »
Also, we pick up stuff the day before the housecleaner cleans. Facepunch-worthy, but it is incentive to at least once per week pick the Legos up from the floor, and it gets my son moving because he "doesn't want her to vacuum them up."

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2014, 08:15:47 AM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?


That's what I was thinking.

I know when I was 8 and 10 I was already my Mom clean around the house. So were both my brothers. Of course we never did it as good as my Mom could, but at least the house was clean.

About once a month, my Dad would take the kids out of the house for a couple of hours - go to the library or something, while my Mom would stay home and do a deep cleaning.

I think a lot of people are just really lazy or something.

Eric

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2014, 08:38:57 AM »
Housecleaning services are generally considered facepunch-worthy.

Remember that the 4% withdrawal rate means that every $10 monthly expense ($120/year) has to have $3,000 of capital backing it up before you can retire. How much is your cleaning service? $50/month? $100? Are you comfortable delaying your financial independence long enough to save an extra $15-30k just so you don't have to clean your own toilets? It sounds like an absurd proposition to me.
If it were just cleaning toilets,  I would agree.  But its the toilets,  bathtubs,  showers,  mirrors,  sinks, laundry, dusting,  vacuuming, dog bathing,  dog brushing, dishes, cooking, windows, wood floors,budgeting,  grocery shopping......it just feels like so much.

Everytime this topic comes up, I'm always thankful that I'm not a neat freak that needs everything spotless all the time.  Just looking at that list of chores above makes me tired too.  Luckily, only grocery shopping, cooking, dishes (in a dishwasher), and laundry (in a clothes washer) need to be done on a weekly basis in my house.  I also don't shower daily and definitely don't use a new towel each time.

RWD

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2014, 08:44:43 AM »
That $37.5K will pay for an entire year of college for one of them.

That's a fairly expensive college then. My entire bachelor's degree (4 years) cost me less than $50k, including food and housing costs. That was at a state university, not community college.

(sorry for off topic post)

Zikoris

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2014, 08:52:32 AM »
Quote
That's what I was thinking.

I know when I was 8 and 10 I was already my Mom clean around the house. So were both my brothers. Of course we never did it as good as my Mom could, but at least the house was clean.

About once a month, my Dad would take the kids out of the house for a couple of hours - go to the library or something, while my Mom would stay home and do a deep cleaning.

I think a lot of people are just really lazy or something.

Exactly! I didn't do a ton of stuff as a kid personally, but I remember mopping floors, unloading the dishwasher, doing my laundry (me and my sister would combine ours to make a full load), and raking leaves. My sister did other stuff that I can't remember now. Toys were all kept in our rooms, so they definitely didn't end up strewn around for other people to deal with. We always put dirty dishes in the sink and dirty clothes in the hampers. Not much left to clean up after. My mom did spend a lot of time cleaning, but that was more because we had a freakishly huge house.

woodnut

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2014, 09:07:47 AM »
That $37.5K will pay for an entire year of college for one of them.

That's a fairly expensive college then. My entire bachelor's degree (4 years) cost me less than $50k, including food and housing costs. That was at a state university, not community college.

(sorry for off topic post)

I was roughly estimating to make a point, but regardless for 2024, I don't think it's expensive based upon current rates and trends.  My entire 4 yrs at a state university was $24K including everything, 20+ yrs ago.  State schools in 2014, run about $26K-$30K per yr around here.  I'd be surprised if it wasn't more than $37.5K, 10yrs from now.

RWD

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2014, 09:41:20 AM »
That $37.5K will pay for an entire year of college for one of them.

That's a fairly expensive college then. My entire bachelor's degree (4 years) cost me less than $50k, including food and housing costs. That was at a state university, not community college.

(sorry for off topic post)

I was roughly estimating to make a point, but regardless for 2024, I don't think it's expensive based upon current rates and trends.  My entire 4 yrs at a state university was $24K including everything, 20+ yrs ago.  State schools in 2014, run about $26K-$30K per yr around here.  I'd be surprised if it wasn't more than $37.5K, 10yrs from now.

I graduated within the last 10 years. The current estimated resident costs at the college I went to is $15k per year (not counting room and board), so it has gone up significantly. I'd like to think (hope) tuition won't continue to rise at this rapid rate...

justajane

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2014, 09:44:48 AM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?

Ah, the good ole days that mostly exist in your imagination and not in reality. I'm guessing you don't remember things as clearly as you think you do. And even if you can somehow prove that your memories of your childhood are ironclad, that doesn't mean this harmoniously clean house in which all children pulled their weight was the reality for all families.

One thing that has changed somewhat, is that kids don't spend as much time outdoors as they did in the good ole days. Hence, possibly dirtier homes for families.

I also found the comment about parenting your kids from HairUpperLip was a low blow as well. It's a real pain to train kids to pick up after themselves. It's not like you do it once and they are miraculously trained. You often don't see the payoff from all the work until they are grown. I don't think the person complaining about it was saying they didn't want to do it but rather that it was hard work. And it is!

SunshineGirl

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2014, 09:45:54 AM »
I have happily paid for housekeeping in the past and probably will again, because I like a nice clean house and can afford it.

Ybserp

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2014, 09:54:27 AM »
We are FI. Having a housecleaner once a month is a delightful joy and worth much more to us than spending that money on other things now or in the future. Money is a tool. In this case, we use is to buy time. As an aside, we were able to convince elderly family to accept our gift of money to hire a cleaner because we were doing it too. They initially got offended at the idea they were too old to care for themselves (which is true) and it was easier for them to accept that we wanted to gift them with an enjoyable luxury (which was also true).

For those on the board who don't hate housecleaning, you might consider doing it for others as a side gig.

Rage

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2014, 09:57:56 AM »
So a lot of us here pay for cleaning service.  But let's not try to justify it.  It's an unjustifiable luxury.  It is better to acknowledge that than to try to pretend that it makes sense with ridiculous justifications (my time is so valuable, my house is hard to clean, etc)

For my family, at this point in time, the cleaning service is one place where I've decided to kick the can down the road - I've already started biking to work, am in the process of selling my gas guzzler, we've mostly stopped eating out, etc, etc.  This is one that I will get to eventually, but we're not ready for it yet.

For average house prices in my area (~$300K), with current interest rates and 20% down payment, you could pay off a 30 year mortgage a little more than 4 years early if you applied an extra $100 every month.  Bottom line is it's not justifiable if you have any debt at all, including mortgage.

oinkette

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2014, 10:15:27 AM »
I get hiring people to do things you don't want to.  I think a good portion of us do. I don't want to mow my lawn, especially in Houston summers.  So I hire a cheap local man to do it.  Punch me in the face.  Fair enough.

One thing about the house though, I've found that minimizing what I own and living small helps with the clean up, immensely.  Empty spaces are easy to vacuum and dust.  There is less stuff to pick up, or navigate around to get to a window to clean. The bane of my existence is still my tub/shower, but when I don't have that much else to clean then I have no option.  Basically anyone I hire would be done within 1 hour, not even justifying the service.

TL;DR: have less stuff!

Zikoris

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2014, 10:48:52 AM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?

Ah, the good ole days that mostly exist in your imagination and not in reality. I'm guessing you don't remember things as clearly as you think you do. And even if you can somehow prove that your memories of your childhood are ironclad, that doesn't mean this harmoniously clean house in which all children pulled their weight was the reality for all families.

One thing that has changed somewhat, is that kids don't spend as much time outdoors as they did in the good ole days. Hence, possibly dirtier homes for families.

I also found the comment about parenting your kids from HairUpperLip was a low blow as well. It's a real pain to train kids to pick up after themselves. It's not like you do it once and they are miraculously trained. You often don't see the payoff from all the work until they are grown. I don't think the person complaining about it was saying they didn't want to do it but rather that it was hard work. And it is!

I think some basic systems can make a big difference. Keeping toys in a designated location - bedrooms or a play room - makes a HUGE difference (as well as having more relaxed standards in those designated rooms). Making putting your dishes in the sink a normal thing that everyone does immediately after eating makes a difference.

Keeping the overall volume of stuff down makes the HUGEST difference. One thing I remember is how little videos and video games we owned compared to literally everyone we knew, despite watching/playing as much or more - we just rented everything. We also used the library heavily.

MayDay

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Re: Housecleaning services
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2014, 10:54:42 AM »
For starters, the only time we had a cleaning lady was when I was post partum with kid #2.  Way cheaper than a lot if the other choices (mental hospital, PP doula, etc). 

I think I am pretty on top of my kids about cleaning up.  There aren't toys scattered everywhere, we keep things tidy.  I am pretty minimalist, and I try to influence the kids. 

That said, holy shit do four people make a load of mess.  Just so, so, so much more than one or two people.  I think it's exponential or something.  I stay at home so I have time to deal with it, but a significant portion of my day is spent picking up, packing and unpacking bags, cooking and cleaning up, dealing with the explosion of school papers that come home, doing the laundry, etc. 

If I worked full time we would be hiring help.  If you are talking abut two working parents, what can you reduce to free up the schedule?  Stop cooking meals from stratch?  Stop letting you kids do any activities?  Stop doing the laundry?  Stop riding your bike to work since it takes more time? 

I do make the kids "clean" and "cook" and "do laundry".  All in quotations, because in reality at age 4 and 7, teaching them to help actually takes me way way more time.  So long term it will pay off (right around the time they leave for college) but for now, having them help does not cut down the workload. 

justajane

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2014, 02:07:55 PM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?

Ah, the good ole days that mostly exist in your imagination and not in reality. I'm guessing you don't remember things as clearly as you think you do. And even if you can somehow prove that your memories of your childhood are ironclad, that doesn't mean this harmoniously clean house in which all children pulled their weight was the reality for all families.

One thing that has changed somewhat, is that kids don't spend as much time outdoors as they did in the good ole days. Hence, possibly dirtier homes for families.

I also found the comment about parenting your kids from HairUpperLip was a low blow as well. It's a real pain to train kids to pick up after themselves. It's not like you do it once and they are miraculously trained. You often don't see the payoff from all the work until they are grown. I don't think the person complaining about it was saying they didn't want to do it but rather that it was hard work. And it is!

I think some basic systems can make a big difference. Keeping toys in a designated location - bedrooms or a play room - makes a HUGE difference (as well as having more relaxed standards in those designated rooms). Making putting your dishes in the sink a normal thing that everyone does immediately after eating makes a difference.

Keeping the overall volume of stuff down makes the HUGEST difference. One thing I remember is how little videos and video games we owned compared to literally everyone we knew, despite watching/playing as much or more - we just rented everything. We also used the library heavily.

That's definitely the case. Less stuff definitely translates into a cleaner home.

I, however, vacillate between embracing the cluttered chaos and trying to get rid of it. It really depends on my week. I find sometimes I get more depressed if I fight it and can create some semblance of zen-like contentment if I just accept that my house will often be a cluttered mess until the kiddos move on. And then I will miss the chaos!

Mayday - how I do relate to your post! I have three boys and stay home with them and it really is astounding. Entropy is a powerful force in the home, and I often feel like Sisyphus in my attempts to keep the clutter and mess at bay. And seriously - what's with the "explosion of papers"? We were brutal about recycling the papers that we didn't think were necessarily, and even doing that, at the end of last school year (kindergarten nonetheless) we had a thick stack of them left! I shutter to think what it will be like when all three of my boys are in school.

But back to the cleaning person issue. I've never had one, but if I had children and worked full time, I would absolutely hire one. I think in many respects whether or not you have or want a cleaning person, this runs in families. We never had, and frankly I don't like the idea of someone cleaning my dirt and seeing my things. It seems far too intimate to me. Even my closest friends don't go in my bedroom - why would I pay a complete stranger to? I also wonder if those of us who can tolerate a bit of mess and dirt end up not feeling the urge to do it. I don't have high standards for cleanliness. That doesn't mean we live in filth or anything, but a dust bunny on the floor? Oh, well. I'll eventually vacuum it up.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2014, 03:18:35 PM »
Who knew this was such a hot button topic?

Here's my take on the issue.  I really really want a cleaning service like Homejoy or Merry Maids.  I'm somewhat OCD and the thought that I won't end up with a perfect, DIY result actually causes more procrastination.  No one wants to start a task they've already convinced themselves they'll fail.  Also, having battled moderate depression most of my adult life, a clean living space is really important in my mental well-being.  But, I'm nowhere near FI and have a ton of student loan debt to tackle. 

So where's the middle ground?  Here: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-20-minutes-a-day-for-30-days-131142

And for those of you who have legitimate mental issues - I feel your pain.  http://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/ is an awesome, supportive resource for people like us.

dragoncar

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2014, 04:33:31 PM »
She does laundry

You mean she puts the laundry in the machine that does the laundry for her?

Anyways, if I could buy a $30k robot that would do all my housekeeping forever, I might actually do that.  But I really dislike the idea of other people in my house touching my stuff.

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning services
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2014, 05:05:08 PM »
For starters, the only time we had a cleaning lady was when I was post partum with kid #2.  Way cheaper than a lot if the other choices (mental hospital, PP doula, etc). 

I think I am pretty on top of my kids about cleaning up.  There aren't toys scattered everywhere, we keep things tidy.  I am pretty minimalist, and I try to influence the kids. 

That said, holy shit do four people make a load of mess.  Just so, so, so much more than one or two people.  I think it's exponential or something.  I stay at home so I have time to deal with it, but a significant portion of my day is spent picking up, packing and unpacking bags, cooking and cleaning up, dealing with the explosion of school papers that come home, doing the laundry, etc. 

If I worked full time we would be hiring help.  If you are talking abut two working parents, what can you reduce to free up the schedule?  Stop cooking meals from stratch?  Stop letting you kids do any activities?  Stop doing the laundry?  Stop riding your bike to work since it takes more time? 

I do make the kids "clean" and "cook" and "do laundry".  All in quotations, because in reality at age 4 and 7, teaching them to help actually takes me way way more time.  So long term it will pay off (right around the time they leave for college) but for now, having them help does not cut down the workload.

Yes, id have to say we're pretty minimalist with clutter and toys. If you've got crap everywhere,  I don't really see how hiring a house cleaner would help with that.  Maybe my standards are really high,  but I really don't think so.  I hardly ever have time or energy to cook from scratch anymore,  and not because I lack kitchen skills. Kids are in what I consider really minimal activities,  just one weekly music lesson each.

I wish all of the responders were clarifying if they are working mothers or some other demographic....I suspect that will make a huge difference in what side they are on.

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2014, 05:07:40 PM »
She does laundry

You mean she puts the laundry in the machine that does the laundry for her?

Anyways, if I could buy a $30k robot that would do all my housekeeping forever, I might actually do that.  But I really dislike the idea of other people in my house touching my stuff.

What about putting the laundry away, like hanging or folding?  That's the biggest hassle.

dragoncar

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2014, 05:45:03 PM »
She does laundry

You mean she puts the laundry in the machine that does the laundry for her?

Anyways, if I could buy a $30k robot that would do all my housekeeping forever, I might actually do that.  But I really dislike the idea of other people in my house touching my stuff.

What about putting the laundry away, like hanging or folding?  That's the biggest hassle.

Why would you need to do any of those things?

Gin1984

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2014, 06:11:28 PM »
So a lot of us here pay for cleaning service.  But let's not try to justify it.  It's an unjustifiable luxury.  It is better to acknowledge that than to try to pretend that it makes sense with ridiculous justifications (my time is so valuable, my house is hard to clean, etc)

For my family, at this point in time, the cleaning service is one place where I've decided to kick the can down the road - I've already started biking to work, am in the process of selling my gas guzzler, we've mostly stopped eating out, etc, etc.  This is one that I will get to eventually, but we're not ready for it yet.

For average house prices in my area (~$300K), with current interest rates and 20% down payment, you could pay off a 30 year mortgage a little more than 4 years early if you applied an extra $100 every month.  Bottom line is it's not justifiable if you have any debt at all, including mortgage.
Lol, in your opinion but thankfully the only person one needs to justify their spending to is theirself and/or a spouse.  Having an extra 45 minutes per week because I have a housekeeper keeps me sane.  I am grad student, with a kid.  I was getting so stressed not being able to get everything done, it was affecting my health.  Every female professor I know has recommended that women in the workforce (with kids) have one because really there is only so many hours in a day.  I'd rather work an extra year than try to juggle it all and get myself sick from stress.

resy

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2014, 07:08:24 PM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?

Ah, the good ole days that mostly exist in your imagination and not in reality. I'm guessing you don't remember things as clearly as you think you do. And even if you can somehow prove that your memories of your childhood are ironclad, that doesn't mean this harmoniously clean house in which all children pulled their weight was the reality for all families.

One thing that has changed somewhat, is that kids don't spend as much time outdoors as they did in the good ole days. Hence, possibly dirtier homes for families.

I also found the comment about parenting your kids from HairUpperLip was a low blow as well. It's a real pain to train kids to pick up after themselves. It's not like you do it once and they are miraculously trained. You often don't see the payoff from all the work until they are grown. I don't think the person complaining about it was saying they didn't want to do it but rather that it was hard work. And it is!
+1

Setters-r-Better

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2014, 07:25:55 PM »
She does laundry

You mean she puts the laundry in the machine that does the laundry for her?

Anyways, if I could buy a $30k robot that would do all my housekeeping forever, I might actually do that.  But I really dislike the idea of other people in my house touching my stuff.

What about putting the laundry away, like hanging or folding?  That's the biggest hassle.

Why would you need to do any of those things?


So your clothes aren't a wrinkled mess?

mudgestache

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2014, 09:28:24 PM »
This entire thread makes me sad. As a SAHM and a retired cleaning lady some of these comments leave me feeling a bit stabby. But worse yet, those of you that are paying for this service don't even mention the best part. When you walk back into your home and it's all...beautiful. Are you telling me none of you just stand there for a minute and inwardly rejoice at the lovely lines in the carpet, or the sparkle of the floors? You don't feel that calm and peaceful feeling? You don't stroll through and enjoy everything being clean AT THE SAME TIME? Cause I gotta tell you, if you don't feel any of that, then you are wasting your money.

deborah

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2014, 09:36:30 PM »
Joke question?

Obviously it's ridiculous to pay someone to clean up your shit in all but extremely extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). If you do it, recognize that it's facepunch worthy.

I don't get it. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? Assuming you're not a complete slob, it shouldn't take much time or effort.

I think it's universally accepted that two adults,  two dogs, two kids plus two part time kids are a lot to clean up after.

Not if everybody cleans up after themselves. Remember when parents used to expect their kids to not make a mess, and do regular chores?

Ah, the good ole days that mostly exist in your imagination and not in reality. I'm guessing you don't remember things as clearly as you think you do. And even if you can somehow prove that your memories of your childhood are ironclad, that doesn't mean this harmoniously clean house in which all children pulled their weight was the reality for all families.

One thing that has changed somewhat, is that kids don't spend as much time outdoors as they did in the good ole days. Hence, possibly dirtier homes for families.
Well, in the "good ole days" we only had one box of toys between the three of us (I still remember the day my brothers set the box alight, so we ended up with NO toys), and it seems to me that even the most mustashian parents have more toys in their house than that. We also had a much smaller house, which was easier to keep clean (but you had to play outside because there was no room), less clothes, and less stuff! So, even though the children were expected to keep everything clean, there weren't the toys to clean up!

Emilyngh

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2014, 10:26:02 PM »

Everytime this topic comes up, I'm always thankful that I'm not a neat freak that needs everything spotless all the time.  Just looking at that list of chores above makes me tired too.  Luckily, only grocery shopping, cooking, dishes (in a dishwasher), and laundry (in a clothes washer) need to be done on a weekly basis in my house.  I also don't shower daily and definitely don't use a new towel each time.

Yup, I could've posted this. 

But, even with our lax cleaning standards (and bathing standards, but that's a topic for another day), people who come over seem to go on and on about how clean our house is.   Ummmm, don't look too closely b/c that "clean" you see is actually a house that isn't stuffed to the gills full of crap.   It's amazing how keeping things clutter free helps with the allusion of "clean."


mm1970

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Re: Housecleaning service
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2014, 10:34:12 PM »
If I could go back in time to when my children were small, I would hire housecleaning.  We were fine before we had children, and we're fine now that the kids are older -- but when I was balancing caring for small children, working, and doing ALL the housework myself, it was too much.  It's really the only thing about which my husband and I fought.  At that point, we didn't do it because of money, but it absolutely would've made my life better -- and it would've made my husband's life better because I wouldn't have been resentful over the constant issues with cleaning.  NOT simply hiring out the job is one of my biggest regrets. 

When my girls have children of their own, I'll probably give them a year's worth of housecleaning as a baby shower gift.
Yes.  My son was 1 I think when we gave it a try.  My kids are now 8 and 2.

I can see us canceling some day.  Facepunch worthy?  Meh, I don't care.  The kids wake me up in the mornings that I don't go to the gym, and I pass out 15 minutes after they go to sleep.  I don't want to spend those 15 minutes cleaning, I prefer to read.