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Hiring a Housekeeper

Last post Mon, Oct 25 2010 7:02 PM by gayla50. 15 replies.
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  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 3:31 PM

    Hiring a Housekeeper

     I can't believe I am even posting this. It goes against pretty much every frugal bone in my body, but we're hiring someone to come in and clean once a week (every other week isn't enough because our kitchen just gets atrocious). I am working really long hours 6 days a week (today is my day off--you know, the day I get to go grocery shopping, run errands, clean, cook dinner, etc)!, and DH just isn't helping with the house at all. To be fair, he is pre-med (vet medicine), and his school load is heavy (though I believe he has more time to help out than he thinks he does). Something has to give.

    Technically, we can "afford" it, but I'd rather be doing something else with the money.  On the other hand, it'll be a huge relief to not only have it done, but to not have spent an hour arguing about it or listening to "I am so sorry, I just ran out of time, etc. etc.). (Sorry, I don't mean to sound bitter, but I suppose I am a little). It's cheaper than me giving up a client, and the housework has to get done. Fortunately, it's reasonably priced since we don't have kids (and therefore no clutter at all, really) and what needs to be done is fairly simple. I am not having the sheets changed, laundry washed, etc. Essentially, she'll just be cleaning the kitchen, sweeping/vacuuming and dusting the main rooms and our bedroom (not the office or spare room), and cleaning 1 bath.

    I am exhausted between the work, being the sole maintainer of the house, and dealing with the family issues. I am trying to look at this as an investment in my sanity, but I've just never conceived that I'd feel the need to hire someone to help me keep my house at a reasonable level.

    "This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in oncomming traffic." -Terry Pratchett

    Blog: www.shwankie.net
    Twitter: EclecticEdibles
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 3:37 PM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    Ask around and talk to people who have a housekeeper and see what they recommend. Listen closely to the pros and cons. You could go through an agency but make sure the staff is bonded and insured. Make sure all your important papers and items are locked up and that they don't have access to your computer.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 3:38 PM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    there is nothing wrong with hiring a housekeeper. You are not breaking the budget, you need the help. It should help lower the sress level for you and DH. My MIL worked in the Charlotte NC area as a house keeper for years. She loved her work and made a decent living. If you find a good person, you will develop a nice relationship with them. Dealing with your parents as only added to your problem. MIL used to do things like water plants, walk dogs, pick up mail when people were away or life got crazy. Dont feel guilty , be thankful that you can find the right person I bet they are thankful that you need them to clean. It is kind of the same that I have a woman coming in two times a week to give my Mom a shower. I could do it but it so much easier to not have to be responsible for one more thing. Try to get some rest , hugs, Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 4:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    Last October, I tore the cartilage in my left knee and had to have it surgically repaired.  My mother had recently had foot surgery and wasn't able to come help me; instead, she offered to pay for a housekeeper to come in until I could bend my knee (which took a lot longer than being able to walk more or less normally) - it's hard to scrub the tub when you can't kneel.  I hired someone recommended by a friend, who had a long-term business relationship with the housekeeper. 

    After a few months, when I had healed enough that I no longer needed her, I realized that my stress level had dropped significantly - it was one less thing to worry about - and I decided it was worth the money to have her come once a month.  I still clean some things in between times - particularly in the kitchen - but she does the more time-intensive cleaning tasks, such as the floors (my main floor is all hardwood), vacuuming, dusting, deep cleaning the bathrooms, and so on.  It also forces me to clean up the clutter (mail, in particular) at least once a month, as she cleans around it if I leave it out.  It's not frugal - although the $75/cleaning she charges is pretty reasonable compared to the time it takes her - but it is well worth the cost to me for the time it saves.

    If you haven't hired anyone yet, or even if you have, be careful about who you allow into your home, and make sure the expectations are clear on both sides.  A friend of mine hired a housekeeper based on a personal recommendation, but when the woman showed up the first time, she brought a second woman with her, and explained (as she should have done during the phone conversation rather than on the first cleaning day) that she was overbooked, and was giving all new referrals to the second woman, after helping her with the first cleaning.  My friend let the 2 clean her house, and it was okay - but the second time, when it was just the second woman, many of the small details were skipped - most importantly, the woman forgot to lock the door on her way out.  The second woman also said that while she would accept checks if necessary, she preferred to be paid in cash.  Shortly thereafter, my friend fired her and hired someone else; she's very satisfied with the second person she hired. 

    One of my neighbors uses a service, Merry Maids - and while she likes them and says they do a good job, they tend to change staff a lot, so she never knows who's coming; while I understand her desire to have a bonded service, not knowing who was coming each time would bother me more than having an unbonded housekeeper with a good reference from multiple long-term customers.

  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 4:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    This doesn't have to be forever, you know. At some point, your life may settle down enough that you can go back to doing things yourself.   But right now, I'd say your plate is beyond full ... consider this an investment in sanity and health.

    www.dodgeandweave.blogspot.com
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 6:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

     Thank you, everyone, for your support, experiences, and suggestions! I found a woman I think is going to work really well. She was recommended by my neighbor, and has been cleaning her house for several months. She's a one-woman operation, and her other references were glowing, as well. She came in today and looked around, we discussed expectations, and her quote was reasonable (not the lowest I got, but very fair). I'll let you know how it goes. DH isn't thrilled about spending the money, but we talked about it more today and he realizes that he's not been much help, and admitted that's not likely to change in the near future. That was hard to hear, but at least he admits it and is willing to let me do this to see if it helps out as much as I think it will.

    I still feel guilty spending the money, but I appreciate what you said, LWolfT, about it not necessarily being forever. And, hopefully it'll be an investmet in my sanity and overall health. I am exhausted all the time right now, and making poor eating decisions because I am just too tired to cook. I am hoping that this will help me get back on track!

    "This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in oncomming traffic." -Terry Pratchett

    Blog: www.shwankie.net
    Twitter: EclecticEdibles
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 7:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    Falcon,

    Sometimes you just can't put a price on your sanity and keeping in good graces with your DH. I hope you really enjoy the housekeeper you hired, and that you can get to feeling more relaxed soon.

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 7:38 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    something has to give. getting a housekeeper is great idea!  your stress will be less and you will like coming home to a clean house.  I always told dh if I worked ft with kids, we were having cleaning help.  lots of people I know have help.  small price for your sanity and it is not like she is coming in every day or other day.

    my mom used to babysit at different times two different families for a few hours every day.. not that the women needed it or really went anywhere or worked outside of the house, just well off and wanted a break every afternoon.  that I think is a bit much.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 10:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    Don't feel guilty.  You are improving your mental health, getting a job done, and reducing unemployment by giving a competent person your work overflow.  Thank you from another housekeeper.

  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 10:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Hiring a Housekeeper

    Falcon, Are you accepting of paying for other services such as mowing the lawn or having oil changed in the car? Are these things you could do? I used to have an every other week helper who woked in my house so I could work in my yard, which I much preferred.  AM

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