Is using a domestic cleaning service worth the money?
When was the last time your oven was cleaned out completely? Do you bleach your bathroom(s) every week? When did you last take everything out of the cupboards and give the shelves a good wash? It is difficult when you barely have enough time to cover all the basic household chores, let alone the jobs that require a deeper clean. So, do you sacrifice more time in the day to ensure that these cleaning jobs get done or do you hire a domestic cleaning service to help?
My first cleaning experience
I work from home when the kids are at school. That means I have about six hours in the day to work. About two of those hours are spent on household chores, i.e. loading the dishwasher and washing machine, hoovering the floors, changing the bedding, and wiping down the counters and the bathrooms etc. I am then left with about four hours to work. When the kids come home from school, I am back in the kitchen, cleaning and preparing their snacks and then, subsequently, their dinner, which then leads to more cleaning. By then, I have run out of time to clean out the fridge and give the skirting boards a good go over, and I have forgotten all about the windows.
By 5pm/5.30pm, I have worked at a lightning pace to ensure dinner is on the table and during that time, the kids have taken out all their toys and scrambled up the neatly folded clothes in their cupboards, so they could change out of their school clothes. Food is all over the kitchen table and chairs, which brings on more cleaning… I manage to grab about five to ten minutes to sit and talk with the boys during dinner before I take another load out of the washing, empty and reload the dishwasher, and then hoover/mop up the floor, which is now covered with food. The kids head off for their bath before their bedtime routine starts, which means water/soap is now smeared all over the bathroom walls and floor. However, I don’t have time to get out the bleach and scrub all the residue off, so I end up just giving it a spray. By the time it is 8.30pm, the kids are fast asleep, the school clothes (and daddy’s work clothes) are washed and drying on the clothes rack and I have only managed a wipe down of the kitchen floor before I crawl up the stairs to try and work a little bit until 10.30/11pm (sometimes 12/1am). I’ve bundled the unfolded clothes into a nearby basket, with the promise to myself that I will fold them and put them away in the morning. I am exhausted and I haven’t even dusted the house. I have spent minutes with the kids when they came home and rushed them through their homework and ‘golden time’ due to spending most of my time cleaning. What’s more, we entertained visitors, who stayed at ours from mid-December right up until the first weekend in January. So, no deep cleaning had been done at all during this time. One evening, I collapsed in front of my husband and sobbed that I couldn’t handle my dual full-time/work-at-home mum role. And, it was then I had given up the façade that I was any good at staying on top of the cleaning. The truth is, I am truly rubbish at cleaning – and I hate it.
I am not one of those people who gets a thrill out of scrubbing counters and achieving that reflective gleam. I am also not one of those who gets excited when I pick up a hoover. I am the total opposite. I love a clean and tidy house – in fact, I am instantly stressed as soon as I step into mess, dirt and grime – but I do not love cleaning any of it up. I feel like the hours spent in the day cleaning the constant mess is a huge waste of my time, which has been taken away from my kids, my husband and my work. It was when I had a mini breakdown that I decided that I needed to outsource my cleaning duties to domestic cleaning services to help me gain back those precious hours lost. But, was it worth the money?
During that week, my friend had just started a domestic cleaning services company and I jumped at the chance to be her first customer. I needed someone to help me with the deep clean, so I could just maintain the clothes, the washing, the dishes, and anything that takes minutes to do. What I couldn’t keep up with was the frequent bathroom and fridge deep cleans, as well as hoovering and mopping all the floors properly and dusting the shelves. The first time my friend came over with her cleaning colleague, my little one had suffered a double ear infection, so the house was in a real state, due to not sleeping the previous two nights. I completely lost my mojo to clean or even work. So, my friend sent me to the doctors with Aidan and assured me that they would do their best to clean the house in the two hours I was away.
When I came back, my house was clean. Not just clean, professionally clean.
I tell you what I felt when I stepped foot into a professionally cleaned house. I felt relief. I felt pure overwhelming and euphoric relief. The kitchen was spotless, the floors were gleaming, the rooms were tidy and the house smelled fresh. The second wave of emotion hit me like a hammer. I felt proud that my house could look so beautiful when it was professionally cleaned. So proud that I wanted to re-organise playdates and invite my friends over, instead of coming up with some lame excuse because I was so ashamed at how my house looked. The last emotion I felt put a huge smile on my face. I felt inspired. Inspired to summon up that last bit of energy and pull through after endless nights of no sleep. I felt inspired to maintain the house at this professional level and encourage my boys to keep their rooms tidier too. I had got my mojo back.
So, is using a domestic cleaning service worth the money? It certainly is to me! But, before you decide to take the plunge, there are certain factors that you may want to consider before you hire some cleaning help yourself:
Work out the cost
House cleaners are generally worth anywhere between £7 per hour to £15 per hour. You may need to book around three hours at a time, depending on the size of your house, to ensure you get a good clean for your money. That will cost you between £21 and £45 in total. Also, you should take into account that you would probably need to provide your own cleaning equipment, especially when using private cleaners. Professional cleaning agencies tend to bring their own, but you may need to pay a booking fee in return. Some professional agencies like anyclean.co.uk don’t require a booking fee, but they would ask you to sign a contract, which you would need to return before they can commence their cleaning services.
Calculate how much your time is worth and then track the time you spend cleaning for one week. Work out the amount you would pay yourself if you were a cleaner. If a cleaner would cost significantly less and do a better job than you, then it’s definitely worth hiring the cleaner.
Get some recommendations
I’m sure we have all wasted money on sub-par services at one point, which is why getting recommendations from your friends and family are crucial, especially when it comes to hiring services who should be helping you with your daily grind, not hindering you. If you ask around, you are more likely to find a trusted cleaner that can get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you hire professional cleaning services, you’re also protected from any unforeseen incidents that may occur while the cleaner is in your house. Professional agencies like anyclean.co.uk take the work out of finding a trusted and vetted cleaner for you and their prices start at £13/hour. To check whether Anyclean offers a cleaning service in your area, simply head over to their website and get a free quote. Another professional agency, Helpling.com, have a great Spring Cleaning guide, which has some brilliant hacking tips on keeping on top of your spring cleaning – it’s definitely worth a read!
Work out what you need cleaning
For me, it’s very simple, I don’t have time to deep clean, so I need extra help with cleaning out the fridge, thoroughly cleaning the kitchen, and bleaching the bathrooms etc. But, if you have a much longer to-do list, it is worth writing it all down, from top priority to low priority, and ask the cleaner to work through that list. Whatever they don’t get done in their slotted time, they will complete in the next session.
Reasons why you should get a cleaner
- A cleaner can be more efficient at cleaning and get the work done in half the time, whereas, if you’re anything like me, you will probably dilly-dally about and half-heartedly clean up the mess, which would then lead you back to square one.
- You get your time back, whether that is spending time with the kids or using the extra hours to work. For me, I have gained quality time to sit down with my kids now and I don’t have to worry about deep cleaning the fridge (which I sometimes have nightmares about!) I also get to work those extra few hours during the day and make the money back – plus more!
- A new professionally cleaned house will make you feel amazing. The relief and inspiration I get from working while my house is being cleaned is something I cannot even describe in words. I just feel enormous relief.
Getting a cleaner is not for everyone, some parents are super-efficient and can get everything done in fifteen minutes. But, if you’re like me and cleaning is a significant source of stress in your life, then I think it’s definitely worth spending that extra bit of money to outsource and gain back your time with your children – and to do something more worth your time!
Have you ever used a cleaning service? What are your thoughts on outsourcing your daily clean? Please share with us in the comments below!