Yes, you do need a housecleaner (and yes, you can afford it!)

How often does your kitchen get a deep clean like this?

How often does your kitchen get a deep clean like this?

Keeping a clean house can be a challenge! Between careers, friends, and family there is no surprise that many people find themselves with plenty of cleaning to do without the time or energy to actually get it done. Of course, there has been a solution to this problem for as long as dishes have gotten dirty: hire a housecleaner. However, there are some misconceptions surrounding what it actually means to hire a cleaning service and it is actually much more affordable than many people think.

When lots of people think of a housecleaner, they imagine a woman who is a live-in staff member for her employer, and that she is exclusively responsible for keeping her employers’ home in order. But while wealthy people continue to hire live-in cleaning workers, ordinary people do not have to forgo on the time they would save by hiring a cleaning service to help around the house.

The average hourly rate of a cleaning service in 2019 is $50-$180 per hour, which can become pricy after a few hours. But strategic use of cleaning services can have a major impact on your happiness and give you more time for those important moments with friends and family.

#1. Your housecleaner does not have to live in, or even clean for you every day. While the common media portrayals of homes that employ housecleaners are that these staff members live in their employers’ homes, that is usually not the case for most cleaning professionals in real life. The majority of professional cleaners have a roster of clients they serve (and their own homes to return to every night). As such, having a housecleaner come regularly to clean is significantly less expensive than what most people have seen on television. Consider cleaning professionals to be more in line with other service providers such as hairstylists and landscapers; while the same person may always serve you, it is unlikely that you would be that person’s only client.

#2. Frequency matters! How frequently you choose to hire a housecleaner to clean for you is another way to keep costs down. Again, while in the media, maids are constantly cleaning their employers’ homes, today most housecleaners come and go within a set period of time. Being professionals, cleaners are highly skilled at their jobs and can do much more than the average person can in less time.

Also, remember that professional cleaners are able to tackle tough jobs. Therefore while you may feel comfortable with staying on top of regular cleaning duties, enlisting the help of experienced cleaning professionals for big decluttering jobs may be worth the money spent.  

#3. Cleaners can help you get more time with loved ones. Holiday parties, wedding celebrations, and other important events are milestones in people’s lives. While it is fun to cut loose on the dance floor, it can be hard to shake the post-party dread. Cleaning a space after a large gathering is time-consuming and can put a damper on the fun times had at the gathering. Including 1-2 hours of cleaning in your event budget can alleviate that stress, allowing you to get back to what matters most.

#4. How much is your time worth? As I mentioned before, it can cost between $25 and $35 per hour to hire a housecleaner. But, consider the amount of quality time you would be able to commit to your family or other endeavors by not having to worry about cleaning your home from time to time. As you create budgets for big events such as family visits, creating a line item for a 2-3 hour session with a housecleaner can help dramatically reduce stress and give you time with the people you love that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Of course, hiring a cleaning service is a bit of a luxury. Cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen in your home is something that can be maintained by dedicating the proper attention to the task. However, the idea that only the super-rich can afford to have their homes professionally cleaned is a misconception. With some planning, you can maximize the value housecleaners can provide. Even having a housecleaner some once or twice per month can make a dramatic difference for you and your family,