Author Topic: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning  (Read 18839 times)

Making Cents

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2016, 10:29:22 AM »
So many great replies, thank you!  One idea that has grabbed my attention is using house cleaning as a work out.  I am a runner currently sidelined with plantar fasciitis so struggling to come up with non impact ways to work out.  I mean can this really be done as a work out?  I've never felt winded while cleaning but if there are ways to do it then I might be game. 

This is what I often do when painting or cleaning. I put on the music I normally run to and move in time to it without skipping any beats... probably looks ridiculous but who the hell cares?! I have fun, the house gets clean faster, and my heart rate is raised for a couple of hours.  I wouldn't say I get winded (I sing along), but I definitely get some low impact aerobic exercise. Give it a shot! The kids should love it. You could also race them for some kind of reward.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2016, 10:44:11 AM »
Our house is about your size, 1500sq ft. If I'm not interrupted, I can vaccuum/sweep/dust all rooms, and do the two bathrooms in 2 hours. It's not a real workout, but if you are moving quickly you should burn some calories.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5793
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2016, 10:59:29 AM »
We have 4 dogs and they avoid the robots we have. The roomba does have a small dirt holder but I set an alarm for 15 minutes and then empty it. I have an 80lb dog that is a shedding machine. They have improved the Mint and it was bought out. It now has a reservoir of water so it cleans better. My first Mint lasted 2 years and cost $130.00 so I got much value from it. My first Mint did all the sweeping and mopping. Now that I bought a roomba I will only use the MInt for mopping.  I use both once/week. I would reduce cleaners to 1x/month and get a couple of robots.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2016, 11:09:52 AM »
Something I have noticed when I have been somewhere where there has been a cleaner is that they do not get behind couches or dust things that are up high, etc. So really those hair and dust balls are still there giving your family allergy problems unless you personally take care of it.

I guess this is my issue - that I'm just not convinced that cleaners do the most annoying aspects of cleaning like baseboards, etc., unless you specify deep cleaning, right? And wouldn't the deep cleaning cost more? The vacuuming, the mopping, the wiping of the counters, light dusting - that's the stuff I have no problem doing. It's the damned nooks and crannies that kill me. I love our older home with period touches, but our baseboards are a royal pain in the ass to clean. Usually I just let them stay semi-dirty until I get around to cleaning them every couple of months. It doesn't affect our quality of life to have non-pristine baseboards.

Our biggest problem with cleaning is the clutter. I often see people on here talk about they have a smaller house and thus have less clutter, but in our case it works the opposite; because we have a smaller home where we have less storage and place to put things, most of our surfaces have things on them. I find it impossible to imagine that a cleaner would lift up everything and clean underneath. I don't blame them! I guess we could get rid of all of our clutter, but lots of it is stuff that we actually use on a daily basis. That's why it's there in the first place.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6984
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2016, 11:28:42 AM »
Something I have noticed when I have been somewhere where there has been a cleaner is that they do not get behind couches or dust things that are up high, etc. So really those hair and dust balls are still there giving your family allergy problems unless you personally take care of it.

I guess this is my issue - that I'm just not convinced that cleaners do the most annoying aspects of cleaning like baseboards, etc., unless you specify deep cleaning, right? And wouldn't the deep cleaning cost more? The vacuuming, the mopping, the wiping of the counters, light dusting - that's the stuff I have no problem doing. It's the damned nooks and crannies that kill me. I love our older home with period touches, but our baseboards are a royal pain in the ass to clean. Usually I just let them stay semi-dirty until I get around to cleaning them every couple of months. It doesn't affect our quality of life to have non-pristine baseboards.

Our biggest problem with cleaning is the clutter. I often see people on here talk about they have a smaller house and thus have less clutter, but in our case it works the opposite; because we have a smaller home where we have less storage and place to put things, most of our surfaces have things on them. I find it impossible to imagine that a cleaner would lift up everything and clean underneath. I don't blame them! I guess we could get rid of all of our clutter, but lots of it is stuff that we actually use on a daily basis. That's why it's there in the first place.

We waited to get a cleaner till we found a friend who liked hers.  I have to admit, they don't do baseboards.   But they do scrub the fridge inside and out, and the microwave, toaster oven, etc.

They don't move the couch and vacuum under it.

dkaid

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2016, 12:02:00 PM »
Our biggest problem with cleaning is the clutter. I often see people on here talk about they have a smaller house and thus have less clutter, but in our case it works the opposite; because we have a smaller home where we have less storage and place to put things, most of our surfaces have things on them. I find it impossible to imagine that a cleaner would lift up everything and clean underneath. I don't blame them! I guess we could get rid of all of our clutter, but lots of it is stuff that we actually use on a daily basis. That's why it's there in the first place.
[/quote]


We downsized from 2400 to 1300 sf when we moved into this house 8 months ago.  Because the combination of adequate storage and clutter free surfaces was important to me, we installed cabinets by the fireplace which store kids games, dvd's and books.  I also hung the Trost shoe storage bins from Ikea with a piece of wood on top to have a place for magazines, paperwork.  This in essence serves as the place I can put my husbands "stuff" he leaves all over.  Plus I keep the laptop and phone charging stuff in this area.  It's like this:

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2016, 12:05:47 PM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values.

+2. If a house cleaner enhances your life, and you can afford it, go for it. Why work so hard to get to FIRE if you're going to spend your precious time doing something you hate.

Yeah, to me, mindful spending is what this site is about. Not never spending money, but not spending it on shit that is more emotional or mindless spending. I myself also have a cleaning person come in once a month.


User asks for help to eliminate cleaner, instead everyone enables.  :(

dkaid

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2016, 12:07:59 PM »
Something I have noticed when I have been somewhere where there has been a cleaner is that they do not get behind couches or dust things that are up high, etc. So really those hair and dust balls are still there giving your family allergy problems unless you personally take care of it.
[/quote]

I haven't really had an issue with this, with the exception of under the bed.  Granted they do not clean the inside of the fridge, the screen doors or baseboards.  Keeping up on those is another reason why I don't want to also deal with the more routine cleaning.  Maybe I need to consider changing to once a month and having the focus be more on these areas since the more routine cleaning is actually easier (despise it though I may).  I'd probably need to find somebody else to do this. 

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2016, 03:00:53 PM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values.

+2. If a house cleaner enhances your life, and you can afford it, go for it. Why work so hard to get to FIRE if you're going to spend your precious time doing something you hate.

Yeah, to me, mindful spending is what this site is about. Not never spending money, but not spending it on shit that is more emotional or mindless spending. I myself also have a cleaning person come in once a month.


User asks for help to eliminate cleaner, instead everyone enables.  :(

+1, I was going to suggest we move this to the Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2016, 03:07:07 PM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values.

+2. If a house cleaner enhances your life, and you can afford it, go for it. Why work so hard to get to FIRE if you're going to spend your precious time doing something you hate.

Yeah, to me, mindful spending is what this site is about. Not never spending money, but not spending it on shit that is more emotional or mindless spending. I myself also have a cleaning person come in once a month.


User asks for help to eliminate cleaner, instead everyone enables.  :(

You conveniently chopped off my post to include only the part that "proves" the point you want to make. Fairly dishonest.

Not to mention that "everyone" is not suggesting the same thing.  Quite a few peopke (including me, though you'd never know it from the editing you did to my quote) are pointing out that she has kids who should be participating in the cleaning, which would eliminate the need for a cleaner.  I personally do not have kids, which is why I find having a cleaner come in once a month good for me.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 03:10:02 PM by Kris »

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6984
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2016, 04:11:41 PM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values.

+2. If a house cleaner enhances your life, and you can afford it, go for it. Why work so hard to get to FIRE if you're going to spend your precious time doing something you hate.

Yeah, to me, mindful spending is what this site is about. Not never spending money, but not spending it on shit that is more emotional or mindless spending. I myself also have a cleaning person come in once a month.


User asks for help to eliminate cleaner, instead everyone enables.  :(

You conveniently chopped off my post to include only the part that "proves" the point you want to make. Fairly dishonest.

Not to mention that "everyone" is not suggesting the same thing.  Quite a few peopke (including me, though you'd never know it from the editing you did to my quote) are pointing out that she has kids who should be participating in the cleaning, which would eliminate the need for a cleaner.  I personally do not have kids, which is why I find having a cleaner come in once a month good for me.

Next time there's a travel thread, where people discuss ways to get cheaper exotic travel, and lots of people are saying that it's worth spending money to travel for the experiences, even if it delays FI, I may just make sure to rag on people for "enabling". I mean, of course, your life should be so relaxing that you don't *need* to travel.  Learn how to cook exotic food, and read a book from the library, for crying out loud!  Why would you spend your money on something so trivial.

Making Cents

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2016, 05:21:37 PM »
This isn't to instigate... I'm just genuinely curious... How many of the people here who are critical of this thread and posting that all domestic work should be 100% DIY are women with young children who hold full-time or overtime hours at their jobs?

I may be way off here, but I'm guessing that most of those views come from people who either do not work full time, or do not have partners who work full time, or do not have to care for other family members while working.

If I'm dead wrong and there is someone out there doing the lion's share of the work for a family of 4 while holding a professional job who still is anti-robot/anti-help enough to be posting here, let me just drop to my knees right now. (We'renotworthywe'renotworthy!)

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2016, 05:24:45 PM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values.

+2. If a house cleaner enhances your life, and you can afford it, go for it. Why work so hard to get to FIRE if you're going to spend your precious time doing something you hate.

Yeah, to me, mindful spending is what this site is about. Not never spending money, but not spending it on shit that is more emotional or mindless spending. I myself also have a cleaning person come in once a month.


User asks for help to eliminate cleaner, instead everyone enables.  :(

You conveniently chopped off my post to include only the part that "proves" the point you want to make. Fairly dishonest.

Not to mention that "everyone" is not suggesting the same thing.  Quite a few peopke (including me, though you'd never know it from the editing you did to my quote) are pointing out that she has kids who should be participating in the cleaning, which would eliminate the need for a cleaner.  I personally do not have kids, which is why I find having a cleaner come in once a month good for me.

Next time there's a travel thread, where people discuss ways to get cheaper exotic travel, and lots of people are saying that it's worth spending money to travel for the experiences, even if it delays FI, I may just make sure to rag on people for "enabling". I mean, of course, your life should be so relaxing that you don't *need* to travel.  Learn how to cook exotic food, and read a book from the library, for crying out loud!  Why would you spend your money on something so trivial.


Don't forget to point out that traveling by plane, car, etc. is just another version of bedpan and catheter. If a Mustachian wants to travel, the only legitimate way is to ride a bike or row a boat yourself.

Jakejake

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 720
  • FIRE: June 17, 2016
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2016, 05:33:19 PM »
I would ask at least the older child if they would like to do the cleaning in return for the money the housecleaner was getting. Keep the money in the family, get the cleaning done by the kid(s) in a way that they don't resent.

cats

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2016, 06:39:58 PM »
Ultimately the cleaner decision is up to you and your husband, but I thought I'd share some perspective from the "messy" half of a relationship.  My husband likes things to be REALLY clean/tidy.  I have a few things that bug me and that I stay on top of, but fundamentally I have definite sloblike tendencies.  We had a lot of tension around cleaning/tidying in our relationship until at some point it clicked with me that doing "extra" (to me) cleaning was a pretty meaningful way of saying "I love you" to my husband.  As in, if he's having a busy week at work and I step in and keep on top of cleaning the kitchen (normally his task), he is SUPER appreciative.  Way more appreciative than of any other "nice" things I've tried to do for him during busy/stressful times.  The result is that I actually now HAVE gotten into the habit of doing certain chores that I used not to do, I'm better about tidying up, and we definitely have fewer arguments centered around cleaning.  And cleaning has come to feel like a (somewhat) loving action to me, which makes it more pleasurable.  I'm not going to say that I love every minute of it and our home is not sparkling, but that shift in my attitude has (I think) helped a lot in creating a situation that we are mostly happy/content with. 

So I guess maybe instead of trying to get your husband to do more, make sure you are really big with your display of appreciation whenever he does help out, even if it seems like something minor that he should have been doing anyway.  If he's like me, he probably didn't grow up in a super tidy environment and isn't used to the idea of having regular cleaning chores (which is kind of what's needed to keep a place clean) so, yeah, he may be at sort of the toddler/young kid stage of the game and thus really benefit from that positive encouragement.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3213
  • Location: WDC
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #65 on: January 14, 2016, 07:55:03 PM »
Something I have noticed when I have been somewhere where there has been a cleaner is that they do not get behind couches or dust things that are up high, etc. So really those hair and dust balls are still there giving your family allergy problems unless you personally take care of it.

I guess this is my issue - that I'm just not convinced that cleaners do the most annoying aspects of cleaning like baseboards, etc., unless you specify deep cleaning, right? And wouldn't the deep cleaning cost more? The vacuuming, the mopping, the wiping of the counters, light dusting - that's the stuff I have no problem doing. It's the damned nooks and crannies that kill me. I love our older home with period touches, but our baseboards are a royal pain in the ass to clean. Usually I just let them stay semi-dirty until I get around to cleaning them every couple of months. It doesn't affect our quality of life to have non-pristine baseboards.

Our biggest problem with cleaning is the clutter. I often see people on here talk about they have a smaller house and thus have less clutter, but in our case it works the opposite; because we have a smaller home where we have less storage and place to put things, most of our surfaces have things on them. I find it impossible to imagine that a cleaner would lift up everything and clean underneath. I don't blame them! I guess we could get rid of all of our clutter, but lots of it is stuff that we actually use on a daily basis. That's why it's there in the first place.
The housecleaners in my area are wonderful.  My current housecleaner has been with me for about 3 years now.  She and her team (4-6 people) come in, speed clean through 4 floors of my house and are done in one hour.   The owner is the head cleaner and she's a true american success story, having come to America when she turned 18.  She takes great pride in her cleaning.  Some days I come home and have to adjust my furniture to move it back into position.  It used to bug me that they didn't put everything exactly back, but I've come to realize that they do this on purpose so I know when they move the couch and wash the baseboards behind it.  When the dust the paintings and picture frames, I have to go around and straighten the paintings.  As with most long-term relationships, everyone has quirks and you learn to appreciate them. 

woopwoop

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #66 on: January 14, 2016, 08:07:51 PM »
This isn't to instigate... I'm just genuinely curious... How many of the people here who are critical of this thread and posting that all domestic work should be 100% DIY are women with young children who hold full-time or overtime hours at their jobs?
Why would they have to be women? If a man wants to do all the housework himself, that's great! ;) As for me, I don't have kids yet but I agree with the other big cleaner in this thread - my house is small (850 sq ft) and easy to clean. I'm sure when I get kids, it'll be harder than my current hour or so a week cleaning, but I don't think I'm going to go out and hire someone.

My mom used to be a housecleaner and I helped her when I was a kid, so I guess I just don't understand the hatred of cleaning. It's fun to see things go from dirty to clean imo. If you absolutely hate it more than working overtime, I don't see the problem with hiring a cleaner, but as with most things in life, once you think of them less as a chore and more as a ritual, it makes it easier to do happily.

tthree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
  • Location: Canada
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #67 on: January 14, 2016, 08:48:06 PM »
This isn't to instigate... I'm just genuinely curious... How many of the people here who are critical of this thread and posting that all domestic work should be 100% DIY are women with young children who hold full-time or overtime hours at their jobs?

I may be way off here, but I'm guessing that most of those views come from people who either do not work full time, or do not have partners who work full time, or do not have to care for other family members while working.

If I'm dead wrong and there is someone out there doing the lion's share of the work for a family of 4 while holding a professional job who still is anti-robot/anti-help enough to be posting here, let me just drop to my knees right now. (We'renotworthywe'renotworthy!)

I'll take the bait.  Since you asked: I am a women, I work full-time (am I not sure what entails a "professional" job but if you are referring to a certain level of awesomeness I am sure I make the cut;)), I have two kids (6&2), I do 95% of the cooking/cleaning (on rare occasion DH has been known to make mushy pasta and put a dish in the dishwasher), I also have a fun side gig, and do a good chunk of volunteer work.  DH works at minimum 50 hours/week, so that's one of the reasons why I end up doing all this shit.

For ME, I am anti-cleaner for a number of reasons:
-Like the OP, I am a champion tidier and a sucky cleaner.  However, IMO if things are tidy you are really 80% done and the cleaning part doesn't/shouldn't take that long.  On a weekly basis I really only do: floors, counters, laundry.  Dusting and bathrooms are probably more of a bi-weekly occurrence.  Occasionally I do a deep clean of a single room, so I don't have to do them all at one time in "spring cleaning" sort of fashion.  Perhaps this isn't up to the cleaning standards of the masses, but my house at least looks cleaner than most because it is extremely tidy.
-Like other people have mentioned I try to view cleaning as exercise.  Last week I moved all the furniture in our bedroom to vacuum and dust behind.  Our bed is solid wood and has six drawers underneath the platform.....you bet I was sweating!
-I want our kids to see me clean/help me clean.  Honestly, I don't understand this whole "I pay someone to clean so I have more spend time with my kids" thing.  Can't you spend time with your kids while you clean?  Must every parental moment these days be a "fun" moment?  I do almost all of the cleaning on Saturdays.  DH is at work all day Saturday, so the kids are spending quality time with just me.  Sometimes they want to "help" me clean (I never discourage this), sometimes they want to watch, and sometimes they just want to stay out of the way.  I consider it one of my parental duties to teach them the mechanism by which a house becomes clean. 

tobitonic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #68 on: January 14, 2016, 09:07:42 PM »
Yes, I have a house cleaner. Every other week, $75.  As I work to become more frugal and do more on my own AND  try to convince my DH to get on board by my example, I know I should cut this.
But it's so hard.... just a second while I pull on my complainy-pants and list why it's so hard for me. 

1)  I despise cleaning.  I'm a champion tidier but real cleaning makes me angry.
2) I'm a terrible cleaner as I'm pretty impatient by nature. 
3) I work 32 hours outside the home plus carry almost all the household responsibilities (groceries, meal prep, daily clean up, kid activities, general household management) so I really don't have much extra time.
4)  My DH is not on board with a frugal lifestyle.  So while I might work so hard to save $100, he'll go out and blow it some accessory for his fancy Jeep Wrangler.  Maddening...!
5)  We have lots of other low hanging fruit to address, like home improvement spends, groceries, and buying of "stuff".  And I am working on those but I don't have them dialed in by any means. 

I have gone for periods without a cleaner before and I always come crawling back.  A clean house brings me joy:)  I've tried the speed cleaning method but was not successful with it.  I've tried a little bit at a time but I hate that it never feels clean at the same time.  Getting my husband to help more will not be realistic.  I love him dearly but he works a TON and a clean house is not a priority to him so it's just not going to happen. 

Ok so now that I've vomited all that up......  Do you some advice for me to just make it happen?  Make the process easier?  The whole thing feels petty- petty that I care so much and petty that I pay for it. 
Thanks for listening.

Do what works for your family. My wife is absolutely amazing in her ability to keep the house clean while raising our two very young children. I clean here and there, but she definitely does more. If she told me she wanted to pay for a cleaner, I'd be completely open to it.

That said, yes, if you can clean on your own, it's a great work out, and is actually one of the most common forms of "exercise" among people who are old and healthy. The whole going to the gym thing doesn't really occur among healthy people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, per longevity research; they get their workouts from things like walking, gardening, housework, and yoga.

Making Cents

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #69 on: January 14, 2016, 09:55:15 PM »
tthree - I am in awe. Please teach me all your secrets!

MrsWhipple - I was just  curious if the people saying don't hire out were actually the people who had the most pressures on their leisure time. Clearly tthree is doing it all and so can say it is possible to juggle because she does it. So I'll definitely listen to her. If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt. And yeah, absolutely the primary cleaner can be male (my parents used to fit this pattern when I was growing up), but among my friends and colleagues I know only one SAHD who does this and of the couples that both work more than 40 hours a week I don't know any where the woman isn't doing the majority of the cleaning.

Bee21

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 490
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2016, 02:38:36 AM »
Very controversial topic indeed, but fun to read.

There was a very informative cleaning thread a few months ago, I highly recommend reading it. It had some great book/website recommendations- I personally found them really useful.

As for the exercise bit: according to one of the diet books, with housework we are burning 4 calories per minute. Not sure if it is true, but I use this number to motivate myself.

In my experience, clearing the clutter (especially the kids' crap) takes twice as long as the proper cleaning. And the whole housekeeping thing is depressing if you are the only one doing it. I call them the invisible jobs, which are visible only if you are not doing them. If you have a regular cleaning routine (and chuck all the unnecessary things) things are not that hard.

I'm off to clean up my kitchen. Wonder how many dinner calories will I burn :D

cardiocardiocardio

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4030
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2016, 04:39:02 AM »


In my experience, clearing the clutter (especially the kids' crap) takes twice as long as the proper cleaning. And the whole housekeeping thing is depressing if you are the only one doing it. I call them the invisible jobs, which are visible only if you are not doing them.

I'm a sahm so I clean of course. I have time, that isn't the issue.

The big issue I have is that no one appreciates it. I am constantly (and I do mean constantly- multiple times a day) picking stuff up and putting it back where it goes. That's not to mention the daily tasks like food/meal prep and clean up or the deep cleaning.

Yes my kids could do more. But they are in school 8-4. There is a significant amount of nagging to get them to do their daily tasks like backpack packing/unpacking, teeth, clothing, bedroom cleaning, homework, clearing dishes. How much more can I really add? They do more in the summer and on weekends. Their "help" is less helpful than me just doing it- hopefully in another decade it will pay off, but in the meantime its more work for me, not less.

I'm applying for full time jobs. If I get one, convenience measures will have to be used, I value getting sleep and having sanity over saving every possible penny. It may or may not be a cleaner, but the specifics really don't matter.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2016, 05:44:11 AM »
If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt.

This was pretty narrow-minded of you to discount everyone's perspective but one profile. Yes, I'm a SAHP, but that also means that my house gets dirtier during the day than an empty household. So what's your point? The fact that I don't work outside the home and, after I've dropped my two older kids off at school, instead work inside the home chasing after my toddler and cleaning up all the myriad of messes he makes all day, means that it is easier for me? Come on, now. Probably the main reason that SAHPs don't hire out house cleaners as often is not because it's easier for them to do but because they can't justify the expense on one income and because of the societal bias you display here that they should have the time to do it and that it would be somehow shameful or a sign of their lack of ability if they did. I am very pro-clean your own home, but you display your own biases here about who you think is "worthy" of doing it.

dkaid

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #73 on: January 15, 2016, 06:22:34 AM »
If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt.

This was pretty narrow-minded of you to discount everyone's perspective but one profile. Yes, I'm a SAHP, but that also means that my house gets dirtier during the day than an empty household. So what's your point? The fact that I don't work outside the home and, after I've dropped my two older kids off at school, instead work inside the home chasing after my toddler and cleaning up all the myriad of messes he makes all day, means that it is easier for me? Come on, now. Probably the main reason that SAHPs don't hire out house cleaners as often is not because it's easier for them to do but because they can't justify the expense on one income and because of the societal bias you display here that they should have the time to do it and that it would be somehow shameful or a sign of their lack of ability if they did. I am very pro-clean your own home, but you display your own biases here about who you think is "worthy" of doing it.


For me personally, it's harder to relate to those with different relationship dynamics than those with different life situations (i.e. working/not working, kids/no-kids.  In 16 years of marriage rest assured that I've tried sooo many different ways to get my DH to help.  When I finally accepted that this wasn't going to happen I felt so much more peace in our relationship and it helped me better appreciate what he does do.  I'm not trying to let him off the hook per se, but these are the dynamics of "our" relationship.  It didn't come up in this thread too much but IRL, I find this harder for people to understand and why I don't bring it up in detail. 

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2016, 06:43:50 AM »
If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt.

This was pretty narrow-minded of you to discount everyone's perspective but one profile. Yes, I'm a SAHP, but that also means that my house gets dirtier during the day than an empty household. So what's your point? The fact that I don't work outside the home and, after I've dropped my two older kids off at school, instead work inside the home chasing after my toddler and cleaning up all the myriad of messes he makes all day, means that it is easier for me? Come on, now. Probably the main reason that SAHPs don't hire out house cleaners as often is not because it's easier for them to do but because they can't justify the expense on one income and because of the societal bias you display here that they should have the time to do it and that it would be somehow shameful or a sign of their lack of ability if they did. I am very pro-clean your own home, but you display your own biases here about who you think is "worthy" of doing it.

+1

For the record my DW is a SAHM however most of the cleaning does not happen unless I am there too. She cleans up after baby makes his mess eating and puts away toys a few times a day but most of the dishes, sweeping, mopping, dusting, i.e. heavy lifting of cleaning does not happen until we are both at home and someone can watch the kids. The person who ends up cleaning and who ends up babysitting is just whoever feels like, BTW. I would say maybe once every 3-4 weeks I get home and everything is already really clean but maybe once a week I get home and can tell its been a bad day.

RamonaQ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 893
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2016, 07:10:17 AM »
Here's my experience:

BF and I are DINKs.  He works about 50-60 hours per week.  I work about 45-50 at my full-time job and do/did the lion's share of the housework.  We are both busy outside of work (playing sports, training for races, volunteering).  Last year I got the opportunity to pick up a side gig (doing something I really enjoy) for another 10 hours a week.  But, adding in another 10 hours of work per week without taking something away would have pushed me over the edge.  So, we got a housecleaner to come in every other week, and I took the extra side gig.  I make 2-3 times more from the side gig than we pay the housecleaner, and I enjoy it much more than cleaning.  This isn't a theoretical "my time is worth more than $20/hr" but a straight "I do not have the bandwidth to take on this job that will make me $600/mo unless we spend $200/mo on a cleaner."  So, for me it was a reasoned decision that I am ok with and makes financial sense in my mind.  YMMV.

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
  • Age: 43
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2016, 07:11:54 AM »
If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt.

This was pretty narrow-minded of you to discount everyone's perspective but one profile. Yes, I'm a SAHP, but that also means that my house gets dirtier during the day than an empty household. So what's your point? The fact that I don't work outside the home and, after I've dropped my two older kids off at school, instead work inside the home chasing after my toddler and cleaning up all the myriad of messes he makes all day, means that it is easier for me? Come on, now. Probably the main reason that SAHPs don't hire out house cleaners as often is not because it's easier for them to do but because they can't justify the expense on one income and because of the societal bias you display here that they should have the time to do it and that it would be somehow shameful or a sign of their lack of ability if they did. I am very pro-clean your own home, but you display your own biases here about who you think is "worthy" of doing it.

Agreed.  My DW is a SAHM, but with a 9 mos old that doesn't leave her a lot of free time for cleaning.

This whole argument is crazy to me.  Why is having a cleaner more or less fancy than paying for entertainment to be streamed into your house or motorized transportation?  It's all about spending money in a way that maximizes the quality of your life, both now and in the future.  To pretend that this doesn't vary person to person (and life situation to life situation) is asinine.

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2016, 11:47:03 AM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values.

+2. If a house cleaner enhances your life, and you can afford it, go for it. Why work so hard to get to FIRE if you're going to spend your precious time doing something you hate.

Yeah, to me, mindful spending is what this site is about. Not never spending money, but not spending it on shit that is more emotional or mindless spending. I myself also have a cleaning person come in once a month.


User asks for help to eliminate cleaner, instead everyone enables.  :(

You conveniently chopped off my post to include only the part that "proves" the point you want to make. Fairly dishonest.

Not to mention that "everyone" is not suggesting the same thing.  Quite a few peopke (including me, though you'd never know it from the editing you did to my quote) are pointing out that she has kids who should be participating in the cleaning, which would eliminate the need for a cleaner.  I personally do not have kids, which is why I find having a cleaner come in once a month good for me.

Umm... Ok, I just chopped it because I found it irrelevant and the whole three-tier nested quote was already too long.  Don't want be accused of censorship, for Goddsakes, so here it is:

Quote
That said, I third the suggestion that the OP's children should be participating in the cleaning.

I have no idea how including that children should help would have impacted my point that it was all enabling and housecleaners are bullshit.

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1684
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2016, 12:29:04 PM »
Good suggestions here.  We have someone come as needed (every 4-6 weeks) for $60.  My wife is a SAHM (for now, w/ a 9 mos old).  My wife felt we should give up the cleaner since she was SAHM, but I encouraged her to keep her.  We compromised by reducing the frequency (used to be every 3 weeks).

With stuff like this, I find it helpful to remember that the goal is quality of life, not simply saving as much money as possible.  In a similar vein, I'm toying with the idea of paying for (inexpensive) yard service.  When my DD is older and can help out, it will just be more quality time together.  Right now, though, it's eating into my limited time with her.

Babywearing!  You can do yard work with your baby as long as the weather is okay for her to be out. 

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2016, 12:32:41 PM »
Good suggestions here.  We have someone come as needed (every 4-6 weeks) for $60.  My wife is a SAHM (for now, w/ a 9 mos old).  My wife felt we should give up the cleaner since she was SAHM, but I encouraged her to keep her.  We compromised by reducing the frequency (used to be every 3 weeks).

With stuff like this, I find it helpful to remember that the goal is quality of life, not simply saving as much money as possible.  In a similar vein, I'm toying with the idea of paying for (inexpensive) yard service.  When my DD is older and can help out, it will just be more quality time together.  Right now, though, it's eating into my limited time with her.


Babywearing!  You can do yard work with your baby as long as the weather is okay for her to be out.

Lol, my (just turned) 1 yo helps me pick up sticks. I guess just watching me go back and forth it starts to click, also tries to put things in the trash can.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6984
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2016, 04:30:16 PM »
Very controversial topic indeed, but fun to read.

There was a very informative cleaning thread a few months ago, I highly recommend reading it. It had some great book/website recommendations- I personally found them really useful.

As for the exercise bit: according to one of the diet books, with housework we are burning 4 calories per minute. Not sure if it is true, but I use this number to motivate myself.

In my experience, clearing the clutter (especially the kids' crap) takes twice as long as the proper cleaning. And the whole housekeeping thing is depressing if you are the only one doing it. I call them the invisible jobs, which are visible only if you are not doing them. If you have a regular cleaning routine (and chuck all the unnecessary things) things are not that hard.

I'm off to clean up my kitchen. Wonder how many dinner calories will I burn :D

cardiocardiocardio
hmmm...I could earn that glass of wine if I clean more?

Let me see, 4 calories a minute, 240 cals an hour, 480 calories a week.  That's about 5 glasses of wine, or one  bottle.  That's about $20 (my wine habit - it varies, but that's a pretty good average).  That is $40 every two weeks, which is half the price of the cleaning person.  You might be on to something here...

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6984
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2016, 05:46:07 PM »
If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt.

This was pretty narrow-minded of you to discount everyone's perspective but one profile. Yes, I'm a SAHP, but that also means that my house gets dirtier during the day than an empty household. So what's your point? The fact that I don't work outside the home and, after I've dropped my two older kids off at school, instead work inside the home chasing after my toddler and cleaning up all the myriad of messes he makes all day, means that it is easier for me? Come on, now. Probably the main reason that SAHPs don't hire out house cleaners as often is not because it's easier for them to do but because they can't justify the expense on one income and because of the societal bias you display here that they should have the time to do it and that it would be somehow shameful or a sign of their lack of ability if they did. I am very pro-clean your own home, but you display your own biases here about who you think is "worthy" of doing it.
I took that comment as trying to point out perspective.  Not that you shouldn't ever listen to anyone else's points, but -

For the most part, if you "aren't the person doing the cleaning", then, well, why would you REALLLYYY listen to the suggestion that you have to do the cleaning? 

It's hard to understand everyone else's struggles.  I can *say* that I know what it's like for single parents because my husband travels - but it's not the same.  I can *say* that I understand what it's like to be a SAHM because I am home with the kids during vacation, but it's not the same.  I can *say* that "it's not easier to clean when you are home with your kids because things get dirtier" but it's not the same as holding down a FT job.  I could *say* that "because most of the cleaning happens when both the SAHP and WOHP are home, it's the same as having two working parents", but it's really not.

There are many reasons why these differences exist.  Yes, if you wait and do *most* of the cleaning when both parents are home (this is not directed to you in particular, this is the "general you"), you are suggesting that there's no reason why 2 working parents cannot do the same.  However, this discounts the fact that the SAHP gets a TON of "kid bonding time" that working parents do not.  Good, bad, indifferent - it's just a fact of life.  So, with the limited time you get with your kids, how much do you want to spend cleaning?  It's going to depend on the chores and the ages of the kids.

I have exactly *zero* experience with 2-FT working couples where they do their own housework.  Part of that is because of my upper middle class demographic.  But even growing up as a kid in a working class neighborhood, it still applies.  When my nephew was a baby, my mom watched him and cleaned her house while she was there.  When my nieces were little, my brother worked only part time.  That doesn't mean it's not do-able, just that it's hard.  And I'd be willing to bet age is a factor also.  I am on a weight loss board, and I occasionally read about people who work FT, cook all their meals, have 2 kids under 4, and work out an hour a day.  But they sleep 4.5 hours a  night, and they are 25 years old.

tthree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
  • Location: Canada
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2016, 08:58:53 PM »
tthree - I am in awe. Please teach me all your secrets!
Simple.  It's a combination of lowering my standards, and a healthy dose of not giving a fuck;)

In 16 years of marriage rest assured that I've tried sooo many different ways to get my DH to help.  When I finally accepted that this wasn't going to happen I felt so much more peace in our relationship and it helped me better appreciate what he does do.
Wise words.  I am definitely in the same boat.  DH hates being asked/told what to do.  In the past, the only thing fostered by me asking for help around the house was resentment; he resented me for telling him what to do and in turn I resented him for not helping.  Not useful.  And this does not make him a bad person.  He has many positive qualities I can focus on.....why waste my life energy lamenting his less desirable ones?
I think if you want to show your DH that saving more money is important to you, you need to lead by example and he needs to see you sacrifice something near and dear to your heart.  Maybe the that's the housecleaner, or fancy coffee, or shoes.....I don't know, it just needs to be something that will signify your seriousness to him.  Otherwise he will think you are all talk and no action and the HE is the one having to make ALL the changes.

MMMWannaBe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2016, 09:44:33 PM »
I really have no new perspective to add, but as an enabler I am adding my $0.02.  I had such guilt about my house cleaner.  I felt like it was my dirty little secret that I tried to not tell others in my life.  When I and my husband were working full time....money was flowing and so was savings (and I had never heard of MMM); I felt justified in having a housekeeper.  My job sucked the life out of me and the last thing I wanted to do was spend the weekend cleaning.  The husband did little to help.  Garbage and mowing the grass was and is his domain.  Kids, bills, family commitments, travel planning, and every other nuance of our lives is on me.  The housekeeper made me happy and maintained marital bliss.

Then I left my job to stay home with the kids.  I tried to fire the housekeeper because I thought that was what a SAHM should do.  My housekeeper balked.  She needed the money - we agreed to once a month.  I felt enormous guilt for keeping her on the payroll, but she made me so happy.  I loved the one day a month my entire house was clean.

I went back to work 2 years later.  She is back to every two weeks and I have let the guilt go.  The happiness she brings me is worth what I pay her.  We all have our priorities and we all have our vices.  I like that the weekend is not when I am doing my cleaning.  It is free for sports (yep, organized sports - shoot me with a spear) and family activities.  My time is worth a lot.  It takes me about 2 1/2 hours of working time to pay her (and she spends 4 hours cleaning).  No regrets.

My husband can be a little spendy and will not readily adopt MMM.  But I don't think that giving up the housekeeper will influence him to change his ways.  Everybody's financial situation is unique and everybody needs to find their own path to financial independence. 

And for those who are concerned that it is setting the wrong example for the kids, unless the housekeeper came every day there is still plenty of cleaning to do.  Kids are messy.  And I do enlist the kids, but that often entails me supervising them the majority of the time and not truly gaining much efficiency.  Someday I may reap some benefits from child labor, but for now it requires a lot of monitoring, instruction, auditing, and time.

Best Wishes

dkaid

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #84 on: January 16, 2016, 07:03:48 AM »

[/quote]

I think if you want to show your DH that saving more money is important to you, you need to lead by example and he needs to see you sacrifice something near and dear to your heart.  Maybe the that's the housecleaner, or fancy coffee, or shoes.....I don't know, it just needs to be something that will signify your seriousness to him.  Otherwise he will think you are all talk and no action and the HE is the one having to make ALL the changes.
[/quote]

THIS!  Exactly this.  In my mind, because the house cleaner is my sacred cow, that is the the thing I need to sacrifice in order for him to know that I'm serious.  It's entirely possible though that I could give this up and he still would not think I was serious.  Maybe he thinks the money I spend on home improvement is my sacred cow, or something else for that matter.  I mentioned earlier that I have lots of other low hanging fruit in terms of savings options.  I'm going to ask him today although he hates talking about money.   

DeltaBond

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 526
  • Location: U.S.
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #85 on: January 16, 2016, 07:11:09 AM »
A CLEANER! My, I hadn't noticed our betters were among us! I presume you do count yourself as one of the landed gentry. Do you keep a copy of your pedigree with you at all times? Did your great-grandfather slay a dragon? Did your ancestors come across the 'channel' with William the Conqueror?

Ok, ok, I have been reading for a while about people having 'cleaners', and I couldn't help myself any longer. I'm sorry you had to receive the brunt of it, but hopefully it will give people some perspective.

As an aside, the more you think about something like this the more you realize eating out and having a waiter especially, or taking clothes to the dry cleaners or whatever is kinda ridiculous, like we are of the aristocratic class or something.

Ya know, I almost typed out "that doesn't seem like too much to have someone clean"... then I read this post.  I personally have never been able to allow myself to pay someone to clean.  No one will come and do what I really want them to do anyway, and if you have them come less often, they will charge more, even if you clean in between their visits.  If you were making a lot more money, you wouldn't sweat the $75.  It sounds like your bigger issue is your husband blowing money on things, but do YOU blow money on anything?  You didn't name loads of things he blows money on, you named one, so maybe he treated himself.

When you start to feel a relationship is one sided in its spending - try for one month keeping a tally of BOTH you and your SO and what you spend extra money on... do this before you point a finger, even if you've been keeping a mental tally for years... put it on paper first.

I'm great at cleaning, but I don't like to do it.  My husband is willing to help, and also willing to pay someone, however, he also said our house doesn't HAVE to be clean.  I tend to choose one room at a time, when I'm in the mood, and clean it top to bottom.  And having the right cleaning tools makes a difference.

dkaid

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #86 on: January 16, 2016, 07:13:47 AM »
I really have no new perspective to add, but as an enabler I am adding my $0.02.  I had such guilt about my house cleaner.  I felt like it was my dirty little secret that I tried to not tell others in my life.  When I and my husband were working full time....money was flowing and so was savings (and I had never heard of MMM); I felt justified in having a housekeeper.  My job sucked the life out of me and the last thing I wanted to do was spend the weekend cleaning.  The husband did little to help.  Garbage and mowing the grass was and is his domain.  Kids, bills, family commitments, travel planning, and every other nuance of our lives is on me.  The housekeeper made me happy and maintained marital bliss.

Then I left my job to stay home with the kids.  I tried to fire the housekeeper because I thought that was what a SAHM should do.  My housekeeper balked.  She needed the money - we agreed to once a month.  I felt enormous guilt for keeping her on the payroll, but she made me so happy.  I loved the one day a month my entire house was clean.

I went back to work 2 years later.  She is back to every two weeks and I have let the guilt go.  The happiness she brings me is worth what I pay her.  We all have our priorities and we all have our vices.  I like that the weekend is not when I am doing my cleaning.  It is free for sports (yep, organized sports - shoot me with a spear) and family activities.  My time is worth a lot.  It takes me about 2 1/2 hours of working time to pay her (and she spends 4 hours cleaning).  No regrets.

My husband can be a little spendy and will not readily adopt MMM.  But I don't think that giving up the housekeeper will influence him to change his ways.  Everybody's financial situation is unique and everybody needs to find their own path to financial independence. 

And for those who are concerned that it is setting the wrong example for the kids, unless the housekeeper came every day there is still plenty of cleaning to do.  Kids are messy.  And I do enlist the kids, but that often entails me supervising them the majority of the time and not truly gaining much efficiency.  Someday I may reap some benefits from child labor, but for now it requires a lot of monitoring, instruction, auditing, and time.

Best Wishes

I do really relate to your situation, including your avatar:)  In what other areas of your financial life have you made meaningful improvements and have any of those resonated with your husband? 

I also want to say that posting this and reading through the comments has clarified for me how much of this "cleaning" thing is a mental hurdle for me.  I could likely clean my house in 1.5 to 2 hours and while it would not be easy to find the time I could do it.  I would need to adjust my attitude to make it happen.  And make it a work out:) 

I haven't quite landed on what I'll do just yet.  I may go down to once a month or I may wait until we get through a few more of the DIY home improvement projects that we have going on from moving recently.  In the meantime, I've finally seen this month that I CAN spend less on groceries and "stuff" which is giving me the encouragement to keep walking down this path. 

crispy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #87 on: January 16, 2016, 09:36:18 AM »
This isn't to instigate... I'm just genuinely curious... How many of the people here who are critical of this thread and posting that all domestic work should be 100% DIY are women with young children who hold full-time or overtime hours at their jobs?

I may be way off here, but I'm guessing that most of those views come from people who either do not work full time, or do not have partners who work full time, or do not have to care for other family members while working.

If I'm dead wrong and there is someone out there doing the lion's share of the work for a family of 4 while holding a professional job who still is anti-robot/anti-help enough to be posting here, let me just drop to my knees right now. (We'renotworthywe'renotworthy!)

Both my husband and I work FT, we have two kids who are active in school and extracurricular activities, and we do all of our own cleaning and cook. It's not really hard to manage because there are two of us working to do what needs to be done.

I am actually not anti-cleaner, but I am anti-husband-sitting-on-his-butt while I clean and cook.  Not going to happen.  Having someone help clean the house isn't the issue. Spending money to pay someone to clean your house when you have an able bodied adult doing nothing is the problem.

DebtFreeBy25

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Appalachian and...tolerating it
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #88 on: January 16, 2016, 09:57:53 AM »
So many great replies, thank you!  One idea that has grabbed my attention is using house cleaning as a work out.  I am a runner currently sidelined with plantar fasciitis so struggling to come up with non impact ways to work out.  I mean can this really be done as a work out?  I've never felt winded while cleaning but if there are ways to do it then I might be game. 

In response to some of the comments... my kids are 10 and 6 so, yes, they can help.  It just, well, it sucks to nag them about one more thing.  I know that sounds lame.  They do already help by doing their laundry, taking out trash, packing lunches and keeping rooms cleaned up. 

I hate cleaning because I don't have great attention to detail so when I'm done it never looks as good as when the cleaners do it. I do like the concept of being able to mentally change my outlook on this as really this applies to some many things in life and is a worthwhile pursuit.  I have that speed cleaning book mentioned and I just never got it down, it wasn't intuitive to me.  In fairness I probably didn't give it a long enough period to learn the techniques. 

The hiring of cleaners is definitely in the category cheaper than divorce.  In our marriage we do have an uneven split of household duties but I've come to accept that as part of the package.  And most of these duties I don't mind- cooking, shopping, tidying are things that come easy for me (unlike the cleaning!).  Interestingly enough when we saw a marriage counselor she suggested we get a house cleaner to take this part of the discord off the table. 

We got a roomba earlier this year as this was a requirement of mine for agreeing to get a dog.... and it does really help a lot.  I rarely have to get the big vacuum out. 

I'm leaning toward trying to switch to once a month cleaning unless I can figure out how to get a work out of the deal.  Our house is 1300 sf, 3 bed, 1.5 baths without a lot of clutter so I don't think it should take that long.  The cleaning team of 2 people is in and out in about 1 hour maybe?

Here are some strategies for you:
1. Make less mess. Figure out the key reasons why different cleaning tasks need to occur and find ways to get by longer without doing them. For example if you have a willingness to rewear unstinky clothes (obviously excluding underwear and socks) at least once before washing, you can cut your laundry significantly and save a lot of wear on your clothes.
2. Adjust your expectations. Similar to the laundry example above consider the level of cleanliness you really need. It sounds like having a clean home is super important to you. I would take some time to unpack the reasons why you value this. If you decide that cleanliness is critical to your well being then by all means carry on.
3. To make cleaning a workout adjust your routine so that you are continuously moving. Move furniture and pick up all carpetted areas and then run the vacuum as fast as is feasible. Mopping would be similar.
4. Consider rewarding your children for assisting with the cleaning. Identify what's important to them (electronics time, a special treat, etc.) and exchange it for services rendered. This doesn't have to be cash but sometimes cash is easiest.
5. Do what you're willing to do yourself, outsource some tasks to the kids, live with what you can and maintain your cleaning service 1x month for deep cleaning. I would say that your husband needs to pay for the cleaning he is unwilling or unable (for time reasons) to do but it sounds like you have completely shared finances.

Oh and ignore the holier-than-thou judgement from some Mustachians. Your values may be different than some of ours, but that doesn't make them any less valid.

Evgenia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 162
  • Location: California
    • Evgenia Got FI
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #89 on: January 16, 2016, 10:28:07 AM »
I feel you, OP. This is the list I've been over and over in my head a thousand times. House cleaning was our (though mostly Sweet Husband's) "one thing" that he will go to the wall to keep in FIRE. It drove me crazy for a few months ("Gah! That expense of < $200/month sitting on the spreadsheet!") but I've made peace with it.

We are mega minimalists and the house is clean anyway, and yet, because we've kept our cleaner...

The house is always clean, on schedule -- no matter if I've had a broken ankle, we were working a ton of hours, we had house guests coming (we have a lot of those, almost monthly sometimes), etc. I've been happy -- when these times have cropped up -- that we had a reliable person we could rely on (hell to find in the SF Bay Area by the way). The biggest reason, though, is that I used to clean houses (as one of my three jobs in college and whenever I needed side income) and I don't want to fire our house cleaner, who's been with us for four years. She's reliable, she immigrated from El Salvador and doesn't have a ton of options, and I don't want to fire her just because we're FIRE and "don't need her" like we did when we were both working full-time insane people hours. I like that I can pay someone -- who is so worth it -- a decent wage ($30/hour free and clear because I can).

Like you, I can (but don't) *usually* clean as well as the house cleaner... or as well as I did when someone else was paying me for it! The exception is the tub. My Polish OCD tendencies take over and I can boil laundry and scrub tile 'till the cows come home.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5793
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2016, 12:38:06 PM »
When I was a SAHP I did all the cleaning.  I did not need my husband to be home watching the 3 kids while I cleaned. That is silly. However, when I went back to work I hired someone monthly because it greatly reduced the stress. Kids gone and I am semi-retired so again no cleaners but do have robots that clean. Spend your $ on your priorities. When I worked f.t. the cleaners were priceless.

MMMWannaBe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #91 on: January 16, 2016, 12:41:46 PM »


I do really relate to your situation, including your avatar:)  In what other areas of your financial life have you made meaningful improvements and have any of those resonated with your husband? 
[/quote]

dkaid,
I have made progress with my husband, but I also have come to accept that we will never be fully aligned.  He insists that he needs $100K a year to spend in retirement (which is more than we currently spend).  He equates how much something costs with quality (and he always wants the best).  I do not believe the correlation between cost and quality is always pure, and in many cases I am willing to pay less and accept less quality.   

My husband is an engineer.  What has really helped is showing him firecalc and explaining to him the Trinity Study.  That gave us a goal....and allowed him to see that our spending affects our savings which ultimately impacts our retirement.  I have created a personal financial scorecard in which I track all of the metrics that I think matter.  I tried to engage him in a monthly review.  He has no interest, so I review it with myself.  I rigorously track our spending through Mint (and use it for budgeting).  If he makes any unknown charge or a large charge I immediately text him asking what it is.  He finds it eery that within hours of a purchase I know he made it and I am asking him about it.  He does give me all receipts because he knows that I am tracking it.  My continual questions and feedback on our expenditures provide a framework of accountability.  What truly helped was when he saw that through our efforts he really can retire early.  He wants to enjoy life....and for that he feels the need to spend on things that make him happy.  He does not want to forsake his current life for his future life.  Fortunately, we both did agree that as soon as we were employed we needed to max out our 401K and our IRA.  And I managed to squirrel away a little beyond that.  We have done the heavy lifting in our 20's and 30's so I am loosening up the reins and allowing compounding to work its magic.   

Even though I felt like at times I had not made any success with the MMM methodology the other day my husband came home and told me how he had talked to a coworker about MMM.  It just takes time and persistence.  And if your husband is analytical there is nothing like presenting hard, cold numbers to show the benefit of saving.  My husband's eyes are opening up to the fact that the vast majority of people spend most of what they earn.  He is very confused as to why everybody is not in the same financial situation as us.  And I think that is what motivates him to share MMM.  From his perspective, maxing out retirement options is obvious and he assumed that everybody did it.  Now that we have a couple of decades of compounding the benefit is obvious.  He believes in the power of compounding, even if he will never be super frugal.  So our key was just to do what all the financial folks say....pay ourselves first, and then spending can occur with the residual.  The MMM team also gave me much guidance when I was trying to work through some of our financial struggles and get my husband on board.  Thanks to the many great people on this forum we are in a much better place and my husband respects the MMM methodology even if he will never be very far into the MMM continuum.  Even an adapted version is better than nothing. 

To cut our expenditures, we do not have cable.  That is painful for him.  I only was able to get him to agree many years ago because of a dispute with our cable provider.  So it was packaged as retaliatory than as cost cutting...that was 8 years ago.  We have Oooma as opposed to a landline for phone; he was also very resistant to dropping the landline (for 911 purposes). 

Sorry for the long response.

Making Cents

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #92 on: January 16, 2016, 01:38:55 PM »
If someone on the other hand was saying do it yourself but had no kids or was a stay at home parent or had a stay at home partner who was doing the household work, then I'd probably take that with a grain of salt.

This was pretty narrow-minded of you to discount everyone's perspective but one profile. Yes, I'm a SAHP, but that also means that my house gets dirtier during the day than an empty household. So what's your point? The fact that I don't work outside the home and, after I've dropped my two older kids off at school, instead work inside the home chasing after my toddler and cleaning up all the myriad of messes he makes all day, means that it is easier for me? Come on, now. Probably the main reason that SAHPs don't hire out house cleaners as often is not because it's easier for them to do but because they can't justify the expense on one income and because of the societal bias you display here that they should have the time to do it and that it would be somehow shameful or a sign of their lack of ability if they did. I am very pro-clean your own home, but you display your own biases here about who you think is "worthy" of doing it.
I took that comment as trying to point out perspective.  Not that you shouldn't ever listen to anyone else's points, but -

For the most part, if you "aren't the person doing the cleaning", then, well, why would you REALLLYYY listen to the suggestion that you have to do the cleaning? 


Yup that was my intent-- certainly not meant to discount SAHP's work at all, so if you are in that camp I apologize if that's how it read. On the contrary, I'm in the boat that thinks that their non-wage contributions are way undervalued and need to be recognized. (I would LOVE a stay at home partner or the ability to stay at home for a few years myself!) But I do think it matters if you are not the one doing the cleaning criticizing someone else's priorities in managing the cleaning.

csprof

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: Please help me get over myself re: house cleaning
« Reply #93 on: January 16, 2016, 06:29:29 PM »
There are plenty of people on this board who will face punch you for having a house cleaner come to do what we can do ourselves (some better than others). My response to that is a big "F-that".

The whole point of mindful spending, saving, reducing, etc. is to put your money where you have consciously determined brings you joy and/or aligns with your values. If you value time with the family more than cleaning and can afford it, go for it. If having cleaners avoids marital strife and you can afford it, go for it. If knowing that the cleaners are coming is the only thing that gets your spouse to pick the damn place up and you can afford it, then go for it.

(Yes, I am projecting my own situation onto the OP question here!) :)

+this this this this this.  I love the phrase "mindful spending."

It sounds like it bugs you.  I'd probably make a list of the things you'd like to reduce spending on, with dollar values attached, and a "how desirable is it" (or time) figure.  Prioritize it and execute the top one - and then don't beat yourself up about the cleaners if you're already starting to execute a plan that's better than starting with the cleaners.

For me, a list like that led to finally getting rid of my car (my wife has one also).  I kept the cleaners at every two weeks.  Life's too short - spouse and I both work 50+ hour weeks (and wouldn't change that), and, um, I'm possibly one of the world's messiest cooks.  I'm taking some of that extra time and working on my home repair skills (replaced one of our toilets a while ago - woohoo!), gardening with my daughter, cooking, doing side projects, or about four other higher-priority things, several of which have a better ROI than not paying my cleaners.

Mindlessly keeping the cleaners around without ever having tried DIY?  Probably not a good idea.  Mindfully keeping the cleaners with an actively considered understanding of the tradeoff involved and what it actually buys you?  It's your life.  Live it.