Working mamas- who has a housekeeper? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 03-06-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just had my third baby and am seriously considering getting a housekeeper! Things are a zoo here and I just want to be able to do more with my kids instead of trying to keep the house from being condemned! So who has a housekeeper, how often, how big is your house and what do they do? I live in the midwest in a rural area (think country songs) and am also wondering price, knowing that every area is different.

 

Company or individual?

Do you have a list of what you want them to do, or just let them go to it?


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#2 of 21 Old 03-06-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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We have a weekly housekeeper who has worked for us for many years. She does the heavy cleaning of the whole house including floors and bathrooms. She doesn't do laundry. And frankly, even with weekly cleaning the house often feels kind of gross. Dirt gets tracked in, food spills, and we cook a lot. Kids are just dirty. Our nanny is in charge of child care, not housekeeping.

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#3 of 21 Old 03-06-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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We do. She comes every week, alternating between a deep clean and lighter cleaning (kitchen, mopping, and changing sheets...she stays less time on light days). She's an individual, and she does her own thing; we don't give her a list unless we have something particular on a given week.

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#4 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 01:27 AM
 
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We do. Our cleaners are a married couple who come in for a total of 3 hours a week (1.5 hours on Mondays and 1.5 hours on Thursdays). They do all the deep cleaning -- vacuum, mop, clean toilets and sinks, dust, etc.. They also iron DH's work shirts. They don't do laundry or change sheets, though they do make the beds. It's a huge relief to have the house clean.

 

Yes, clutter still builds up. Yes, we still need to straighten up and do our laundry, but it's a massive relief not worry about all the "real"  cleaning. DH and I used to argue about it and it's just one more thing we *don't* need in our lives!

 

Our house is 1600 sq feet (app.) and we pay 67.50 a week.

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#5 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We do. Our cleaners are a married couple who come in for a total of 3 hours a week (1.5 hours on Mondays and 1.5 hours on Thursdays). They do all the deep cleaning -- vacuum, mop, clean toilets and sinks, dust, etc.. They also iron DH's work shirts. They don't do laundry or change sheets, though they do make the beds. It's a huge relief to have the house clean.

 

Yes, clutter still builds up. Yes, we still need to straighten up and do our laundry, but it's a massive relief not worry about all the "real"  cleaning. DH and I used to argue about it and it's just one more thing we *don't* need in our lives!

 

Our house is 1600 sq feet (app.) and we pay 67.50 a week.

this is about how big my house is...

 

I was thinking every other week and def doing bathrooms, sweep, mop, dust and then have a list of occasional things like moving furniture and sweeping under, windows, washing baseboards, etc. Honestly, I know it doesn't take long to clean my house, so I really feel like 4 hours every other week would be plenty... I really feel like if I could get that stuff done for me that often then I could not worry about the rest of the stuff and spend more time reading books to my kids, and playing with them and taking care of myself. I got a number from a lady that cleans my friends sisters house, so we'll see. :) thanks for the input

 

 


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#6 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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I'm considering hiring a professional service to clean my house.  I would plan to have them deep clean once a month, and the estimate I've been given is $168 for a team of 4 people to spend 2-3 hours cleaning.  My house is a little over 1500 square feet.

 

I think it sounds a bit expensive, but the quality is good.  I know they are thorough because they also do move-in/move-out cleanings for rentals.  They have a standard checklist that they go through, and they guarantee their work.

 

I feel more uncomfortable about having an individual come in to clean my house, because it's hard to be certain what the quality of work will be.

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#7 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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We're considering this.  But my biggest thing is laundry.  Are there housekeepers out there who fold laundry?  I really want someone who will fold my laundry, sweep/mop the floors, and clean the bathrooms.  I can do all the rest.


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#8 of 21 Old 03-08-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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Sure. Laundry + folding is standard for a lot of housekeepers. Just tell them your expectations.

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#9 of 21 Old 03-14-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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When I get done with graduate school and am back in the labor force full time, I sooooooo want some housecleaning help. Even if it was just someone coming twice a month or something to mop the floors and scrub the bathrooms.


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#10 of 21 Old 03-15-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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I do home daycare, and I just started getting a woman in once a week. I LOVE HER. This is the greatest thing I have done for myself (and my family) in quite some time. 

 

I can do the normal tidy, the dishes, the laundry, the sweeping and vaccuming. I need help with a deep clean of the tub/shower, mopping, baseboards, windowsills and hand prints on the walls!

 

Oh, ETA, The first person I had was 45 dollars a week. She sucked. The person I have currently charges almost double that, but she is amazing!

 

 


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#11 of 21 Old 03-16-2012, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The lady that I priced was recommended by a good friend, she said she will do dusting/cobwebs, sweeping/moping, bathrooms, and surfaces. She would charge $40 the first time and let me know if it's 30 or 40, I planned every other week. Initially when I was thinking it, I was thinking $40. She also said if I need more done than that, just leave a note or call, and she will charge an extra $10 or something, she said like if I want windows washed or laundry done. But now I need to talk to my husband about it, he thinks it's stupid, I really don't think he realizes how much I clean.


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#12 of 21 Old 03-16-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kythe View Post

I'm considering hiring a professional service to clean my house.  I would plan to have them deep clean once a month, and the estimate I've been given is $168 for a team of 4 people to spend 2-3 hours cleaning.  My house is a little over 1500 square feet.

 


I've been looking at this once-a-month option and I'd love to hear others experiences with it. I think the deep cleaning would be great but I realized that would still leave the weekly vacuuming and some bathroom stuff, cleaning up cooking grime, etc.

 

I would so love a weekly helper.

 

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#13 of 21 Old 03-16-2012, 06:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post


I've been looking at this once-a-month option and I'd love to hear others experiences with it. I think the deep cleaning would be great but I realized that would still leave the weekly vacuuming and some bathroom stuff, cleaning up cooking grime, etc.

 

I would so love a weekly helper.

 


 

I just did my first monthly cleaning with this company.  It was more expensive than I had planned because there was more to it than we had expected.  I didn't realize the house was still a bit cluttered, and it took longer for them to clean because of that.  It will be cheaper next time if I pick up more and de-clutter before they get here.  It will also be cheaper since the next cleaning will be more of an upkeep than the first deep clean.

 

Since this is a cleaning company, that is literally all they do - they do not organize or pick up after you, or at least they don't like to.  But the actual cleaning job was fantastic.  They cleaned the tile and vaccuumed the carpets, cleaned the baseboards, scrubbed down the kitchen and bathrooms, polished wood furniture, cleaned light fixtures and ceiling fans, stuff I don't really get to at all.  They got stains off on one of my tables that I thought would never come off.

 

I'm going to use them again since I would never have the house this clean without them, and it motivates me to pick up after myself more before they come over.  But I'm also open to local recommendations for individual housekeepers at this point.  Most people I know don't use housekeepers though, so I may have to really look.  But the advantage of a good individual is that they may tailor the job to what I want.  For instance, the company I went with this time doesn't clean walls, but an individual may do that if I tell them to.  An individual may also charge less for a weekly cleaning that involves more regular chores, this company only does deep cleaning.

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#14 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked for recommendations from coworkers, there is a lot of people at my work that have cleaning ladies and don't talk about it unless asked.


Melissa-Mama to Allyson carrot.gif 1-22-07 and Katelyn homebirth.jpg 5-14-09 and Paul 1-2-12 my 10 lb 6oz. homebirthed baby boy.

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#15 of 21 Old 03-21-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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I have had several cleaners over the years. 

 

Take some time to really decide what is important to you, what are you willing to pay for? In our house, I am not willing to pay for someone to pick dirty laundry off the floor (DH and I will probably disagree about this forever) or pick up DS's toys, I want the floors swept and mopped. Other people have different desires. 

 

The going price in my area is $15-$20 (northeast but in a rural, relatively low cost of living area)  Right now, I have two women that come in every other week.  I pay them $100 and they work about 3 hours, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

 

I think one of the most important things is to outline VERY clear expectations about what you want. 

 

My first and favorite cleaner was fantastic at deep cleaning but she didnt' do clutter, period.  This caused many an issue in our household.  My husband's idea of a cleaner was someone who "straighten up"  To him, a clean house was magazines in neat stacks, dirty laundry picked up off the floor, beds nicely made.  My idea was someone who did the heavy work, he could pick up his own $(^*& socks!  

 

After she retired, our next two cleaners were just the opposite, they wanted to fluff the pillows and make everything look pretty but weren't so interested in sweeping under the dining room table.

 

 

 

 

 


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#16 of 21 Old 03-23-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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me, Me MEEE! Changes my QUALITY OF LIFE. Would not go without again. 

 

They do just the minimums - floors, kitchens and bathrooms. and come every other week and I pay them $70. IT's a husband and wife and they own their own business. They are not GREAT cleaners, but my house is very cluttered and they just work around that. I actually gave them a $5 raise this year. I give them a Holiday bonus of $50-$80 each year, too. 


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#17 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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ITA with the PP who characterized this as a MAJOR quality of life issue - I work 50 - 60 hours/week at a corporate job, travel for work, and have 3 kids under the age of 7, including a 13 -month-old. Frankly, I'm not remotely interested in spending my weekend downtime scrubbing the bathrooms. Or, as I put it to my mother (who thought it was such an extravagance), it came down to my having to hire weekend child care so I could clean, or a cleaner so I could spend time with my kids! I picked the kids. And I am never, never, never going to feel guilty about this orngbiggrin.gif

 

It's also worth mentioning that I am married to someone who is much neater than I am, but also works PT, and pretty much manages everything kid-related during the week - so on the weekends, he wants a break, too. Yet it used to drive him crazy when I would take off with the kids on a Saturday for a hike and a picnic and (with no qualms whatsoever, I might add) totally ignore the dog hair on the rug in the family room. So from my perspective, having a cleaning lady helps promote a happy marriage, too. winky.gif

 

The hardest part for me to swallow, now that I live in a small town in a relatively rural county, is that housecleaning is more expensive on an hourly basis than child care! When we lived in NYC, we had a $10 an hour housekeeper and a $15 an hour babysitter; here those rates are exactly reversed. So I pay $15 an hour for housekeeping. She is here 4 hours one week, 6 hours the next - the difference came about when she lost the client whose house she cleaned immediately after ours, and she came to us and asked if there were any additional tasks we'd like her to take on, on those days, since she had time. So on teh days she has extra time, she will clean out the refrigerator, wash windows, scrub the baseboards (we have a 5000 square foot Victorian with oak trim in every room, so this is a Sisyphean task! ) - get out a ladder and clean light fixtures - whatever she sees that needs doing. I can make special requests, too - but she's pretty proactive.

 

As others have noted, you have to have lots of clarity up front about what you need done and what you will get for your money. In my experience, this takes multiple conversations over many visits as you learn each other's styles. You also have to clarify if you are paying for this person's time, or by task. So if you are paying for time, you get, say, 4 hours/week and they do what they can within an agreed-upon scope within that time period - this is my arrangement, and I think the most common one. If you are paying by task, you pay for them to get it done no matter what it takes, and the time to do that may vary. (In which case they may quote you a price up front for the whole task, or you pay by the hour or whatever until it's done. If they are experienced they should give you a flat figure.)

 

Because I have this service for a limited number of hourse each week, I make it a point to run around and pick up the night before she comes. She can either pick up the kids' room and organize my clutter, or she can deep clean, but she doesn't have time to do both. I figure DH and I can manage the laundry and dishes and cooking and general pickup - it's the vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing and polishing I'd be perfectly happy never to do again!

 

Good luck with this mama! I promise you, once it works out, you will never go back thumb.gif

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#18 of 21 Old 04-23-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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I have a question:

 

What do you do while the housekeeper is over?  Do you help clean?  Talk to them? Do something else entirely?  Leave?  What is proper etiquette here?

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#19 of 21 Old 04-23-2012, 11:20 AM
 
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If I can be out of the house, I often try to do that, to stay out of the way. (obviously, if I'm going to be out I make sure they have a way to get into the house and that I've left a check) Otherwise, I chat with them briefly when they arrive, then try to stay out of the way.

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#20 of 21 Old 05-04-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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We have a cleaner come in bi-weekly who cleans and changes the sheets on the bed, washes the old ones and leaves them in the dryer.  She provided us an hourly rate and an estimate on how long it would take her to clean our 2,500 sf house.  My husband worked from home when she started, so he was just in his office when she was there (the kids at daycare/school, and me at work).  If he got a break, she would clean the office.  If he didn't, she would skip it.  Now he's opened an office downtown, so we just gave her a key and leave cash on the counter ($50).  It's wonderful to walk into the house after leaving it a mess in the morning, and have it sparkling clean.  I'm thinking of having her come every week now, though. 

 

I do have to say, when I was home sick with my son, I felt entirely in her way and like a spoiled brat.  Give the cleaning person his/her space to do their job.

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#21 of 21 Old 05-05-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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We have a housekeeping service. They come bi-weekly and bring all their own green/eco/natural cleaning products and vacuum. Usually it's 2 women and they clean for about 1.5 hrs. We pay $105/visit. They do the deep cleaning, floors, bathrooms, vaccum/mop, tile. They do a fairly good job. We massively straighten up/put things away b/f they come so they can do the stuff we don't like to do. I thought it was too expensive, but DH really wanted it and now I'm glad.

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