Working Moms

How to make the most of a housekeeper

My mother gifted me with three hours of maid service as a birthday present last week. I'm thrilled; DH is not. He thinks that having a maid would create more work for us, and he doesn't want anyone in the house when we're not there, because we have a dog who has anxiety issues. He works from home most of the time, but he does not want to have to deal with someone else in the house while he's on the phone with clients. I offered to take a work from home day whenever we schedule the cleaning service, and he's okay with that, since this is a gift, but he is not happy about it, and he DEFINITELY does not want to use it beyond what was gifted to us. I hate cleaning, and I would gladly pay for a maid to come every week if I could get DH to go for it. So, for those who have housekeepers, how do you recommend I approach it to get the most out of our free time so I can show DH the value of outsourcing this particular task?

I do want to note that DH and I split household tasks VERY evenly, so it's not as if he is saying he wants ME to be the one to clean. He just isn't a fan of having a housekeeper. I think we have a lot of trouble keeping the house clean, and I would welcome the help.

Thoughts?
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Re: How to make the most of a housekeeper

  • my SIL loves her housekeeper and her house is always very clean.  They let her in when they aren't home but she is someone that many of their family and friends use.

    I used someone else a few times and I can't say I was thrilled with the service and I wouldn't commit to some.  In my experience the house cleaners worth having are more than I'm willing to spend.

    So in summary, I am no help.  Sorry


  • My method was having a mini mental breakdown, probably not recommended lol. I do all the cleaning so I also just stopped cleaning. I think DH can see that it saves me about 3 hours on the weekends and that I am a lot less stressed out. We both enjoy having a clean house. If it is the weekly or monthly expense, try having them do less tasks and negotiate the price down. For example our house cleaner doesn't clean the finished attic or Unfinished basement, so we save 15 a visit.
  • Some of this depends on how you and DH divide chores, but if you want to maximize results without you guys needing to do a lot of "cleaning for the maid," I would ask the service to do just kitchen and bathrooms.  Those are the biggest PITA to clean, but it doesn't usually take long to clear those surfaces of clutter so that a maid can get in to clean.  I would think that if they are sticking to those rooms, they would also be less in your husband's way while working, and less in the dog's space. 

    FWIW, even though cleaning for the cleaners is our most dreaded night every other week, DH and I both agree that being forced to pick up at those times is the only way we keep our house for descending into piles of clutter, so in the long run we're grateful for it.  

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  • My husband wasn't really on board until he saw how clean the house got.  After that, he insisted we keep having her come back.

    Have the cleaners do some "deep" cleaning while they are there, the type of stuff you don't do very often or really, really hate doing and then just keep saying how great it is to have everything super clean and how it gives you a better place to start from with the daily/weekly cleaning we all have to do.  Hopefully he'll come around.

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  • My DH wasn't on board until I got pg with DS2, started having complications and had to stop doing all the housework.

    He tried to keep up with it all, bless his heart, but failed.

    He hired a housekeeper two weeks later.

    I also recommend stop cleaning.
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  • I agree with PP that the kitchen and baths make the biggest impact.  We have cleaners that come once every 2 weeks.  They do everything except our bedrooms.  I don't feel comfortable with people in our bedroom and I don't really care if they get cleaned that often anyways.  So they clean our 1.5 baths and the whole downstairs.  I do spend a little bit of time tidying up the night before they come (mainly putting toys away and getting dishes out of the sink), but spending that 15mins is well worth the hours of cleaning time they save me.

    DH was not a fan of getting cleaners, but he works very long hours and is never home, so all the work is on me.  So I basically just said too bad I refuse to clean anymore, I can't manage 2 kids on my own and all the housework.

    Sometimes I am home when they come if I happen to be working from home that day.  It's actually kind of annoying b/c its a big distraction when I'm trying to work (vacuums running and whatnot).  If I am not home I leave a key under the mat for them.  There was always someone home (me or my mom) for the first few months they were coming, but then I got comfortable with the idea of people in my house.  It is a husband and wife team, they were recommended by my next door neighbor who has used them for several years as well as many of her friends. 

    A girl I work with had hired a cleaning service where she had different people in her house everytime.  One time something went missing (an expensive makeup kit).  The business owner bought her a replacement, but she cancelled her service after that.  So you do need to be careful about who you trust in your house.

    I will say the most inconvenient part of the cleaners, is I have to get my dog out of the house for the day.  I would prefer to get someone who is not afraid of dogs, but I already trust these people.

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  • My DH agreed to hiring a maid because I said I wasn't doing it anymore. Either he needed to do it, or we had to hire someone else. We went with a service because they are insured and screen the employees. I think the biggest benefit he noticed was that it made me happy. I also convinced him to hire a yard service, and I think it was easier for him to see the benefits of that. He used to spend 3 hours on our yard every weekend, and then he saw a crew come in with several guys and professional equipment, and do everything in 15 minutes for 25. Could you convince him to hire out the outdoor work first, and get him on board with saving time by paying for help, THEN pursue the cleaning idea? Or else I often get DH to agree to things temporarily, and then he sees the benefit of them, so we keep going. Definitely tally up how much time and energy you spend doing it yourself. We used to do everything ourselves, and that's how we grew up. We didn't know anyone who hired maids. MIL is actually a maid herself, so it took some time to get comfortable with the idea of having other people do things that we could do ourselves.
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  • MKDeeMKDee
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    image ms.mittens:
    My DH agreed to hiring a maid because I said I wasn't doing it anymore. Either he needed to do it, or we had to hire someone else. We went with a service because they are insured and screen the employees. I think the biggest benefit he noticed was that it made me happy. I also convinced him to hire a yard service, and I think it was easier for him to see the benefits of that. He used to spend 3 hours on our yard every weekend, and then he saw a crew come in with several guys and professional equipment, and do everything in 15 minutes for 25. Could you convince him to hire out the outdoor work first, and get him on board with saving time by paying for help, THEN pursue the cleaning idea? Or else I often get DH to agree to things temporarily, and then he sees the benefit of them, so we keep going. Definitely tally up how much time and energy you spend doing it yourself. We used to do everything ourselves, and that's how we grew up. We didn't know anyone who hired maids. MIL is actually a maid herself, so it took some time to get comfortable with the idea of having other people do things that we could do ourselves.


    I think this last part is a big part of his hangup. He feels funny having someone else do this for us. He's a big doityourselfer, so this makes him uncomfortable. I'd like to hire landscapers too. I hadn't thought of that as a first step, but I do like the idea.

    Thanks to all for the responses. Definitely some good ideas here!
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  • AZ123AZ123
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    If it is a service you trust, take your DH, kids and dog out for a Saturday morning while they clean the house. Ask them to wash and change the sheets too. When you come home from your family outing and he climbs into a clean bed at night, remind him that your time together as a family and less stress was well worth it!

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  • The way I found to maximize the value of a maid was through trial and error which finally landed me on a woman who is independant, who for whatever reason really likes my family (has a lot to do with my being pregnant when she started and on maternity leave so we really got to know one another) and so she just goes above and beyond to be helpful.  She takes initative and washes our sheets, makes our beds, cleans our fridge usually without my asking, organizes our pantry...  She just knows how to run a household and looks for ways to improve ours.  So occasioanlly she forgets to dust a surface.  I'm willing to let that go because of all she DOES do which saves me so much time and energy.

    We have her come weekly and my house is always clean which I love.  Also we tend to have a lot of guests so she'll wash the sheets & towels in the guestroom as well as cleans that extra room and bathroom, and then makes up the bed, so that I am able to really enjoy having people stay with us rather than be bogged down with cleaning up after them.

    As for your DH I would ask him to consider whether he values the minimal amount of family time you have and whether he'd like to use that time to clean the house or to work of other projects or fun activities.

  • So I guess to sum up my above post, decide how you want a maid to fit in to your family and lifestlye.  Write down what would be most helpful, what would be minimally helpful and what you don't want them to do at all.  Then show potential candidates the list and ask if they can provide the service that'll meet your needs.

    So many people accept what cleaners say they'll do and then are frustrated because they are not meeting the homeowner's expecations.  Doing a poor job of cleaning can relative.  They may do a great job mopping the floors but if I'm expecting them to wipe down the baseboards and that isn't part of a routine clean that you hired them for, well then that is what leads to disappointment.

  • If you are worried about the dog, you can have a dog walker come during the time the maid is going to be there.  That's what we do.

     

    Honestly, your Dh's reasons for not having a maid are pretty lame.  Hard to argue with reasons that don't make much sense to begin with.  As far as cleaning before the maid comes, you only have to do as much as you can, the maid will figure it out if things are left out.  If you are in the house when the maid comes, you will say hi and smile and then totally ignore each other.  No big deal.  Does he think she will interrupt him while he is on the phone?  I guarantee she will stay out of his way as much as possible.


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  • We had a cleaning lady after D1 was born, it was just too much for me to do and DH wasn't helping.  He fought it tooth and nail but I went ahead with hiring one.  I didn't care.

     Our cleaning lady retired right after D2 was born.  We interviewed a few but the price was going to double and that woudln't work with also having dc costs double at the same time.  We had to go with dc.  Booo!!

    I recently found another woman who was reasonable.  She cleaned our house last week, just before the ILs arrived.  Even DH agreed that it was nice to have a clean house without having to do the work.  I'm hoping to have her come more often but I don't know how much we can afford.

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  • What the heck is he smoking to think that a housekeeper is more work?  What??  My cleaning lady comes once a month, and was just here this morning.  I do have a to pick up the house a little bit but it saves me lots and lots of time cleaning.  You do not have to be home unless you want to.  The first couple times we had her come we did stay home, but we kept busy by doing other things (and we had a newborn baby to take care of).  Otherwise, she comes in the morning and is gone before we get home.  It's totally worth it!  Tell your DH to get over it and he'll quickly see how awesome it is.
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  • MKDeeMKDee
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    image Jenny952:
    What the heck is he smoking to think that a housekeeper is more work?  What??  My cleaning lady comes once a month, and was just here this morning.  I do have a to pick up the house a little bit but it saves me lots and lots of time cleaning.  You do not have to be home unless you want to.  The first couple times we had her come we did stay home, but we kept busy by doing other things (and we had a newborn baby to take care of).  Otherwise, she comes in the morning and is gone before we get home.  It's totally worth it!  Tell your DH to get over it and he'll quickly see how awesome it is.

     

    His argument is that we spend most of our "cleaning" time picking up clutter.  We would still have to do that with a housekeeper, so it doesn't really save us much time.  Plus, we would be "forced" to pick up clutter on a schedule dictated by when our housekeeper is scheduled rather than when we truly have the time.  I disagree (of course), as I think saving the few hours it takes to scrub countertops, mop floors, vacuum and change the sheets is WELL worth the money, but he does't see those activities as "a big deal."   

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