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Thread: Non-Food Related Poll - Do you use a maid or maid-service?

  1. #1

    Post Non-Food Related Poll - Do you use a maid or maid-service?

    My husband and I both work 40+ hours per week and I've finally convinced him to try a house cleaning service. (I'm tired of spending all my free time cleaning!) A friend has some women who clean her house who are really excellent. They've cleaned for me on special occassions and have done a great job.

    I can tell my husband is really dubious of the whole idea but we seem to spend hours each weekend cleaning.

    How many of you use a service? How did you convince your husband/partner? Do you feel you get a good value for the service? (Do you feel at all guilty that you don't clean your own house?)

  2. #2
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    I wish!

    When I worked full time I did have someone come in and clean, sometimes weekly, sometimes every two weeks. It is wonderful and I highly recommend it. Now that I am working part time I cannot justify it financially. I do not feel guilty if someone else cleans my house -- I feel great! Hopefully your husband will eventually see the value of having more time for relaxation on the weekend. Enjoy!

  3. #3

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    Fortunately for us, we are able to afford such a service. We started about 6 months ago, and after the first person failed miserably, we've found someone we're sticking with.

    My husband and I both work full time, plus he goes to school one night a week. In the winter it wasn't so bad, but in the summer I wanted to be outside working in the yard during the evenings and weekends. And I was never the organized type (like my best friend) who cleaned a room a day and always kept up on it.

    We have it done once a week, and she's awesome. I used to feel guilty about it, but I figure, this may not last forever; I try to take nothing for granted. I'll enjoy it while I'm able.

    Susan: One thing I would recommend - speak to your co-workers, your dentist, anyone you trust. Don't just pull someone out of the yellow pages. I've heard horror stories about a well-known company (that shall go unnamed). Trust your sources, and trust your instincts.

    [This message has been edited by SandyM (edited 04-04-2001).]

  4. #4
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    I also work 40+ hours a week. I have someone clean my house once a week. It is great!! I do not feel one bit guilty. I have used several different people over the years, and they do a pretty good job - none of them seem to do a great job dusting, but I have learned to live with it. If you have found someone that is good and that you trust, I say go for it. Life is too short to spend extra time cleaning (but then I hate to clean)

  5. #5
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    I would love to have someone clean for me. I'm awful at it and can't stand to do it. Having someone clean for me is one of my goals as soon as I get my credit cards paid off (that is 10 months away)!
    Elizabeth

  6. #6
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    We do not. We may but for now, we have a very small house and the 2 of us can get it done in an hour and one half. This is fine in the winter, but summer time? I can see it not getting trimmed down. We will have our priorities changed for us however, when we put the house up for sale

  7. #7
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    I used a maid during both my pregnancies, but normally don't. I hate having to "clean up before the maid comes". I would love for someone to come and just clean my floors and bathrooms, so usually I bribe my husband!

  8. #8
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    We do have a maid. I love it. I've had her for years. She comes only every 2 weeks, though, and she does the really yukky jobs like the floors (on her hands and knees) and the bathroom, etc. (She does everything else, too, but that's why I especially like it!). Anyhow, my husband and I both work, and we have precious little time together. The maid comes on Fridays, and those weekends are great. We get home from work, with the whole weekend ahead of us, and the house is already clean! We get to start our weekend right away! I usually end up cooking a nice dinner, as that's what I love to do, and having a maid just allows us to use our free time to do the things we love to do.

    I agree that if I am ever fortunate enough to get pregnant and have a baby, and I stay home, I will probably not have the maid service anymore (won't be able to justify the $$ anymore!), but for now, it really does help to make our lives more pleasant. I would recommend it to anyone who can afford it.

  9. #9
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    We both work full time+ so about 6 months ago we hired a woman to come in every other week. It is such a big help. I don't feel guilty at all. I was spending my whole weekend cleaning and doing laundry. I eased up on the laundry when I bought both of my teenangels their own hampers and laundry baskets and told them I quit!

    I felt comfortable with her because she cleans for my boss and does our office.


  10. #10
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    We started using one back when my hubby and I started living together. We would fight over it and we decided that we would pay someone to do it. He worked 60 hours a week back then so you can just imagine the load it took off!

    Of course, no good thing lasts forever, it seems, and she was whisked off by a rich couple who gave her a van to drive! Gee, even I couldn't pass that up!

    Then we found someone else and she was good in our condo, but when we bought our house, things went downhill - plus, she would come on Fridays for us but sometimes just didn't show up and didn't call and we had people coming over for happy hour. After being left in that mess a couple times, the next time she did it, I fired her.

    So we cleaned on our own for a while until we found someone good. I've had to lower my expectations a lot. While I feel like my house is clean, sometimes it's not with the detail that I would like so I end up doing (or we) things but at least it's not the showers or the floors (mopping) but I have to vacuum about 3 times a week with a minivac.

    I found that cleaning people are all different. Some do more of the things you would expect and some just do the extreme basics and want lots of money for it.

    I recommend those who are looking to go through a friend or coworker. The cleaning services are pretty expensive.

    I actually used one once and she was paid by the hour. When her four hours were up, she left my vacuum cleaner in the middle of the floor in the living room and walked out! I was ticked! That was when we living in our condo and it took only four hours to thoroughly clean! I think she didn't finish because she was paid by the hour and worked as slowly as she could.

    Try and negotiate a set price. That way you won't "run out of time."...

  11. #11

    Post

    I do my own cleaning, but during the week it's only me and the fuzzy kids at home (DH works 2-1/2 hours away and his company has put him up in an apartment). We have talked about hiring someone before, like a lot of you I don't mind cleaning too much in the winter, but come summertime............

    Anyways, we are going to be selling our house and I have been thinking about hiring someone to come in and help with the details. I want the house to look "perfect" when we put it on the market.

    Cheryl

  12. #12

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    SusanT - I'm a SAHM so I don't feel justified to have a maid, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still sound tempting!

    If you have feelings of guilt, look at it this way (I like to do this when I'm conflicted about something) - when you look back on your life, do you think you'll ever say "Gee, I wish I had spent more time cleaning!!!"???? I rather doubt it.

    Look at it as an investment to free up time to do things you really enjoy. To help your husband along, you can point out some things you all could do together with your new-found time!

    Similarly, I am now getting quotes to paint all of our dark trim and dark doors in the house - a big project. I could do it myself, but it would take a lot of time away from my kids. So, if we can afford to pay someone else to do it (that's still a big if!), then why not? I won't be stressed out trying to finish the job and my kids will be happier.

  13. #13
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    As Murphy would have it, the only really good cleaning lady I ever had was also affordable, but came long before DH and kids. Since then, I had a couple for short times. One either broke or stole a couple of items (including a blown glass sculpture DH gave me for a wedding present) and denied everything; they other used chemicals and abrasives that were destroying finishes, and she apparently banged the vaccum into everything...cabinets and furniture were gtting dinged up. (our last rented house...but all the landlord complained of was the thin, cheezy carpet being worn after it was 7-8 years old. Imagine that!) Since then, I have been put off on the idea of hiring an individual, and the services are too expensive for me. Good luck finding someone that works.

  14. #14
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    SusanT - I've used a housecleaner of some sort for years. I finally admitted to myself that I just plain don't like to clean. I like to do laundry, mow the lawn, cook (!)and I don't mind cleaning the pool, but toilets? No thanks! My DH has always been really supportive - it just means we can spend more time together doing the things we enjoy. And we can fritter away $50 a week at Starbucks - so why not forgo the expensive coffee and use the savings for something you really value?!

    One word of advice though - try to find an individual who comes highly recommended as opposed to a service. I've had both and the best seem to be the independent people - especially if you're having them come while you're at work. I include my current housekeeper in my prayers everyday because she is so incredible and we feel so lucky to have found her! (Pathetic isn't it?!?)

  15. #15
    DmOrtega Guest

    Smile

    Yes, I have a housekeeper who has been with me for 15 years. She started out 2 times a month and now once a month, for the heavy cleaning. She does an excellent job. She has become a friend as well and I thank God for her helping me and my family.

  16. #16
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    This is a big issue for me, which is also why I hated that "personal chefs" special on Food TV (I eventually watched it).

    I have a problem with the class and often racial privilege that goes along with paying another woman (who has her own household) to maintain or help to maintain mine. I have done a lot of historical research on maids and mistresses -- there is a lot of exploitation there. Also, both of my grandmothers were maids, as well as several of my grand-aunts.

    On the other hand, I'm a big slob, and I think about hiring a cleaning lady once I get a job. But knowing what I know, if I hired one, I would feel terribly guilty about it.

    [This message has been edited by makedah (edited 04-04-2001).]

  17. #17
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    I had one when I lived in a large house in Italy. She came once a week and was quite affordable there. Talking about 'cleaning up for the maid' made me laugh. Wednesday afternoon/evening was DH and my time to pick up our piles of papers and laundry and such so the Angela could do her job. She did windows but not laundry or dishes. It really kept us from getting disorganized or too messy. If you can afford it, why not have someone else clean if you don't like to. Especially if you're time pressured.

  18. #18
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    I'm not working right now, but plan to get a job in about a year. We have a large house and I HATE cleaning. I told my husband that one the day I am hired for a job, is the same day I am hiring a maid! I have 2 boys and they have their own bathoom - need I tell you what a mess it is around the toilet!!! I don't think they know how to aim!

  19. #19
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    I struggle with this issue. The truth is that I prefer to clean my house myself and I really wouldn't feel comfortable with anyone coming into my house when I wasn't there. It's simply personal preference. Not that I LIKE cleaing and now, being pregnant, I let alot of things go. Two of my in-laws and my mother have offered to help me, but I still feel funny asking for help. Since we got new carpet, hubby vacuums everyday. He also cleans the bathroom because I hate to do it. What a guy! We both do laundry. I also can't justify the price. We could probably afford it every other week, but we'd rather spend the money on something else. This may sound terrible, but I let the cleaning go sometimes. Not that our house is messy, don't get me wrong. We keep it neat. It's simply not a top priority in our lives. If it's a beautiful day out and the fish are calling us from the lake, we're there- who cares if the house is clean? It's like lindrusso said- are you going to look back and say "gee, I wish I cleaned more"?

  20. #20
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    MrsReber,
    Shall I sign us up for the "likes to clean" therapy sessions?

    Cleaning doesn't really bother me because I don't let things get too bad. I would much rather listen to some music and fold clothes than work in the yard - bleech!

    I have no idea how much a cleaning service or house keeper would cost, but I am sure that we wouldn't pay for it - we won't pay the for cable t.v.!

    Most of my friends have maids, but they have very messy husbands and they don't know when to throw things away -IMHO! My Mom always cleaned our house and I guess I just learned her 'methods'.

    Sometimes cleaning is a little theraputic, you start with chaos, you end with order. You can sit back and feel accomplished when you are done!

    Lisa

    [This message has been edited by food girl (edited 04-04-2001).]

  21. #21

    Post

    Originally posted by makedah:
    This is a big issue for me, which is also why I hated that "personal chefs" special on Food TV (I eventually watched it).

    I have a problem with the class and often racial privilege that goes along with paying another woman (who has her own household) to maintain or help to maintain mine.
    For me, this is simply a case of paying someone else to do a job that will (and I hereby admit this publicly) most certainly do a better job than me. I hate to clean, and it's a matter of giving it up to a professional. There is nothing class-related or racial, and least of all exploitive, about it.

    Back in the day, most certainly. But now, I highly doubt it.


    [This message has been edited by SandyM (edited 04-04-2001).]

  22. #22
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    I have cleaning help every other week (I am a SAHM with 2 kids -- had it every week when DH and I both worked full-time). I agree with all the other posters who said that an individual is usually less expensive and will do a better job, but I use a service, which is insured and bonded and performs background checks on their employees, now and probably always will -- I wanted to pass on what happened to me so that hopefully none of you will have to deal with the same thing. When we bought our house 5 years ago, I hired a woman to clean who worked for 4 of my neighbors. At the time, my husband and I both worked full time and were never home when she came; however, she did a good job, never broke anything, and never took anything, so I thought I had nothing to worry about. Two years ago, I discovered that someone was using my social security number to fraudulently obtain credit. The police ultimately arrested the person who was doing this and it was my housekeeper. She had apparently served time for the same thing in another state, then had moved here. She had taken a copy of my paystub from my home, and used this to obtain all the credit. She was convicted for using my identity and also that of another woman she worked for. 2 years later I still have a lot of inaccurate information on my credit report and have her creditors calling and writing to me.

    Please, don't be offended by this post. I know that most people are honest, and that very few housekeepers would do something like this. However, if you are going to use an individual, I would encourage you to do a background check rather than just going on the recommendations of friends. Also, I would be very careful to be sure that the person cleaning your house cannot get access to your personal information. I now keep all sensitive papers in locked file cabinets, and have my computer password-protected, even though as a SAHM now I am usually home when the cleaning service came.

    SusanT, you may not want to share this with your husband if he is still iffy about getting cleaning help -- I still am incredibly reluctant to give it up!

  23. #23
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    SandyM: Can't divulge anything...but there is a magazine....comes in a plain brown wrapper...gotta go now.

  24. #24

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    Oh my (she says in her small-town, midwestern, naive, girlish manner.......)

  25. #25
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    I wanted to add something more...this is all my cleaning person does. She is single and this is her cleaning service..she does homes and work places. She likes the flexibility and she makes good money.

    I use to clean houses for extra money years ago. I had about five clients. It was a perfect situation for me. Everyone always treated me like I was a member of the family. And when I decided to stop...they were pretty upset.

    Just wanted to add my experience of being one.

  26. #26
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    Great subject, and interesting thread!

    I work part-time (approx. 30 hours/week), DH is self-employed, working more than 40 hours/week. We have had a "cleaning teen" for the past 6 or 7 years. Actually, through the years we have had two different teens, but it has always worked out WELL! She cleans the whole house, top to bottom, once a week. We feel that the $ is WELL-SPENT... never begrudge a dime of it! We still have PLENTY to do w/ grocery shopping, laundry, yardwork, errands, cooking/cleaning up, household and vehicle repairs and maintenance, not to mention the day-to-day never-ending "pick up".

    I personally think that hiring teens or retirees can work out wonderfully. So, if my current Cleaning Teen quits... I'll ask my mom if she wants the job...

    Lynn

  27. #27
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    Lynn B: LOL. If I had my Mom clean my house, my spice cabinet would be rearranged every week! I would hear endless reviews of the products/things I "spend my money on." And, I would have to promise to ALWAYS take my shoes off at the door.

    I can only imagine the surreal world of my Mom as my house cleaner

    I'm certain she'd vaccuum my dogs!

  28. #28
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    Talking

    DH and I hired his boss's housekeeper to come in every other week last fall and now we're hooked. When our student loans came due we analyzed our budget, and believe me, it's a squeeze to still have her come in every other week. But it's worth it! We agreed that we'd sooner eat Ramen than live among the dog hair tumbleweeds that would soon infest our home if we gave her up. I love being the first person home on "Tamara days," with the lovely smell of a clean home as I walk through the door.

    As far as guilt, she is self-employed and makes her own hours, and we pay her what she bidded to do the work. Cleaning services may take the lion's share of what you pay and give the actual housekeeper peanuts (I don't know if they do, but the possibility exists there, whereas it doesn't with the self-employed), but I don't have the slightest concern about paying someone who is self-employed. It's exploitive in the same sense that any job is. It's called work; that's why they have to pay you to show up! Anyway, when you work out what she charges us as an hourly rate (she charges a flat fee), she makes more than I do per hour!

    That also means that it probably doesn't make any sense for us to pay someone to come clean our house, but I HATE cleaning, and my off work hours are worth more to me than the money we pay her. I know it's silly to pay someone, and we're certainly capable of doing it ourselves, but it all comes down to priorities. I like having a clean home, but I don't like cleaning, so paying someone to do the floors and bathroom is worth it to me.

    -Amanda

  29. #29
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    Just wanted to say "thanks" to everyone for their honest opinions in this thread - I am enjoying the diversity of thoughts on this subject.

  30. #30
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    I struggled with this issue when I was single and working 50+ hours per week. I wanted to spend my off hours with my boyfriend (now husband), so I usually chose to do things with him rather than cleaning. It's not that I hated cleaning or anything, I just hated giving up time with him. Because of that, my apartment would get to the point that I could barely stand it, and I certainly didn't want to have people over! So as a single woman living in an apartment by myself, I decided to hire a cleaning woman. This was only after I discovered that several of my co-workers in similar situations also had cleaning women. I did feel somewhat guilty that I wasn't even capable of keeping my little apartment clean, but then I decided that I am NOT super-woman, and I should choose how I want to spend my time. So, I decided I would pay someone to clean for me, so I could spend time doing what I prefer to do.

    When we got married, my husband did not even question whether or not we would keep having a cleaning woman. His attitude was the same as mine, and even though we are fairly conservative financially, we feel the service of a cleaning person is well worth it!

    I have had a bit of difficulty in finding & keeping cleaning women, but I have found with experience that it is important to be clear about your expectations up front. I have had four different cleaning women, and I have never had anything stolen, though I think one of them may have been taking extra paper towels, since they disappeared faster than I thought was possible! I did fire one for being unreliable (not showing up and not calling -- like someone else mentioned), but right now I have one who is flexible and reliable, plus she does a pretty good job.

    Of course there are some things I think I would clean more thoroughly than a cleaning person does, so I clean those myself every once in a while and just live with it the rest of the time. It also took me a little while to get comfortable with having someone else come into my house to clean it, but after a few times of coming home to a clean house, I quickly realized the benefits were well worth it. And though I dread "picking up for the cleaning lady", it keeps us from getting too much clutter piled up (a huge problem for me before getting a cleaning woman).

    So I would say having a cleaning service is a definite stress-reducer and time saver for me. Ours comes once every two weeks, I love it! It also means there's one less thing I need to worry about when I'm entertaining. I'm fortunate that my cleaning lady is flexible enough to come on a different day if I'm having people over. Like tonight, I'm having a meeting of my women's group at our house, so my cleaning woman is coming today. When I get home, my house will be all clean, so then it will take me almost no time to get ready.

    Sorry for rambling -- I just am really glad I got over my guilt feelings and hired someone to clean for me!

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