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Hired a Cleaning Service (and Personal Finance Links)

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About 6 weeks ago, my wife and I decided to finally bite the bullet and hired a cleaning service. I'm a frugal person, so I put this off for a long time thinking that things were "good enough." For the most part they were. However, when I started to go back to work full time, I realized that there would be an adjustment period. The cleaning service looked like a clear way to minimize that adjustment.

The cost for about 1200 square feet apartment and one and a half bathrooms is $90 every two weeks. I don't know if that's a good price or if that's a "Silicon Valley" price. I realize that $180 a month is nothing to sneeze at. For that price one of us could be enjoying some wasting our money on MonaVie. However, the difference between coming home to a clean place is amazing. It's almost like a vacation. A bonus that I never considered is that it's psychologically easier to keep things clean until the next cleaning. Before when there's a little mess, I didn't mind adding to it. Now, when things start off spotless, I take the extra step to pick up the little mess to keep it spotless.

Readers, please let me know what you think about cleaning services and if you think I'm getting a fair deal... and enjoy these personal finance links.

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Last updated on August 1, 2011.

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16 Responses to “Hired a Cleaning Service (and Personal Finance Links)”

  1. Kyle C. says:

    My wife and I live in the south east and we also have a cleaning service come in once every two weeks. It is great to have them come and take care of the stuff we don’t have the time to deal with, it gives us more time together and with the kids.

    We pay $105 every two weeks for a 3000 sq ft home. But we aren’t anywhere near silicon valley.

  2. We pay just over $80 every 2 weeks to clean our 2500 sq ft house in Toronto so you may be experiencing the Silicon Valley effect. To us it’s worth it since we don’t need to spend half of our weekend time cleaning the house.

  3. Weston says:

    I consider money spent on a cleaning service well worth it, and completely in line with my own particular simple living values.

    We have a 3200 sq ft house. All 4 kids are now out of the house so we’re empty nesters. We pay b/t $70 to $90 per visit. We live in Southeast Florida.

  4. Erin A says:

    I live in Los Gatos and we pay $70 every two weeks for a 900sf/1 bath apt. We paid the same in Philly for a larger place wtih 2 baths. Its totally a fair price and not that inflated.

    I agree about it being totally worth it. When we moved my husband wasn’t working so we didn’t have one and it is SO MUCH NICER to be able to spend that money on a housekeeper. Enjoy!

  5. No, it’s too expensive by about $15. I can give you the name of the place I used in San Jose but I’m not sure if they would travel that far. Shop around–but make sure to find a place that’s licensed and insured.

    We pay $110 every 2 weeks here in N. County San Diego, but our house is 2400 sq.ft.

  6. Joel says:

    My wife and I used to pay for a cleaning service, but we decided to cut our spending and so it went by the wayside. But now that we don’t have it, we miss it and we might pick it back up.

    It’s kind of tough to justify almost $200 a month, but the feeling of a freshly cleaned place is tough to quantify…

  7. No cleaning service here, but we only have 289sqft, so that’s quickly done.

  8. JM says:

    I’m in San Jose. Your pricing is pretty much the same as what Ive been paying. Some may be getting it for cheaper or more expensive by about $20 or so. I use to have them come around for $90 every two weeks for a 2,500 sq/ft home. Realized that the only thing that needed to be done was, deep cleaning the bathrooms, and mopping. Everything else I realized I could do myself. That is my alternative to having them come and clean “everything”. Just bathrooms and floors.

  9. Cos says:

    I miss my cleaning service.

    I’ll back up the “the difference between coming home to a clean place is amazing” part – that’s beyond true. I’m a less anxious and less stressed person when the house is clean and all around in better spirits as a husband and daddy. When the house is wrecked things are more tense.

    Totally worth it to me.

  10. Mrs. Money says:

    I’d come clean your house for cheaper if I was close. :)

  11. Andrew says:

    We pay $130 per month for a 3600 square foot house in the Denver area. Sounds a lot cheaper than Silicon Valley!

  12. michele says:

    I guess the question is really “Is it worth it to you?” You could probably get it done cheaper. However, in any cleaning situation size of the home is only part of the equation. No matter how small a home their is always a kitchen and at least one bathroom, and no matter how large your bathroom it takes the same amount of time to scrub out a tub, clean a toilet and clean sinks.

    When I was in college I cleaned houses for extra money, and I can tell you sometimes the smaller houses were harder to clean, because more often people were not home very much and did little between the times you were there, they did not clean up after themselves. Its not really how much you pay, but how attentive to the details a truly good cleaner is. Anyone can dust, run a vacuum and mop a floor. But a good cleaner does not just swish a mop around, they get down on their hands and knees, clean in the corners where a mop doesn’t reach, etc. They not only wipe the front of the Fridge but clean the top where only the tallest of people see it. They clean inside the microwave. They are especially careful and do not use cleaners that will damage your carpets, etc. They are bonded against theft and damage to your home. Charges might include travel time. My point is there are fixed costs to professional cleaning so just basing your cost on square footage isn’t really the whole picture.

  13. I’ve been thinking of a cleaning service for a while now but haven’t been able to reationalize the expense yet. I can do the dusting, vaccuming, mopping, but the scrubbing of the bathroom is what I’m not good at and takes the most time. Wonder if they’d just come clean your bathroom for a cheaper fee?

    Another question is: aren’t you concerned about the intrusion of privacy? or is that something you’re willing to sacrifice?

  14. mary says:

    I am starting a cleaning business in Arkansas and I am charging $20 an hour. Depending on the time they spend at your home. It seems like you’re getting a deal. :D GOOD LUCK!

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