View Full Version : Cleaning service/Domestic help

7-23-11, 4:22pm
I know there are a lot of people on this forum who have a cleaning person come in and do at least some of their cleaning. How much do you pay? What do you have done? How often do you have someone come in?

My Dad and I are chipping in together to pay for some domestic help for me while my DH is working crazy summer hours. Part of me feels a little guilty about this. Who am I to ask someone else to clean up my mess? And why can't I just do it myself? OTOH it's a perfectly reasonable way for people to make money and it's not like I just sit around eating bonbons all day while someone dusts under my feet. This would just leave me more time and energy to tackle other projects.

I have a friend who does cleaning and since she is helping with a variety of projects such as cleaning, painting furniture, painting a room, etc. she has told me to just pay her whatever I think would be fair. The problem is that I don't really know what would be fair. Dad is paying her $25 every other week to clean his room, dressing room and bathroom, which was formerly my job. She seemed shocked and thought this was a lot of money.

I also have a Mother's Helper I am employing once in a while to watch the kids while I do stuff around the house or while I run the oldest to karate. I've been paying her $5 an hour because she's a kid who isn't old enough to work yet. Her mom thinks I am overpaying her, but she's very good. I have a few odd jobs I may see about paying her brother to do too.

I am thinking of having her come in once a week and clean all of my floors and my bathrooms. I'd have a set amount for that, and if I had other projects like painting, I'd pay on a per job basis.

iris lily
7-23-11, 4:26pm
2X monthly I have a cleaning person. He does floors and counter surfaces, and bathroom sink, showers, toilets. I don't expect dusting since things here are seldom cleared and are grimy. I always make sure that the stove is clean so that he doesn't have to clean it.

He brings his own small hand vacuum to do surfaces of the sofa.

I pay $65.00.

If your friend thinks $25 if a lot for a room and a bathroom, then ask her to do blinds (or shake our curtains?) and wipe down woodwork every other time. That will keep things really clean.

7-23-11, 5:13pm
when we were getting the house ready to sell and move to NZ, we had a woman come and help us clean. She cost $45 for 1300 sq ft. She did everything you could imagine. She was less expensive than a lot of other people. Eg. Merry Maids was about $80 for the same amount of space.

7-23-11, 7:56pm
I have it broken down into separate chores, i.e. $4 for each toilet, $1 to clean the microwave. $3 to vacumn the stairs and upstairs bedroom. Kids sign up for individual chores. All the chores together add up to about $50. Kids don't ever sing up for vacumning the basement $2 or scrubbing the shower $5, so I do those. Extra: $10 to mow the yard, $5 to wash the car.
When I paid a cleaning service (man, his daughter and her son) to clean every 2 weeks, they charged $65 for all that my kids do. Had the whole house sparkling in 3-4 hours.

7-23-11, 8:31pm
Forget the guilt. You're helping to support another person who wants the work instead of buying stuff that eventually would become clutter. I have a landscaper who mows my yard, mulches, plants, and bails me out when the weeds get away from me. His wife works as an independent housecleaner. This is how they support themselves and their children. Ditto the handyman, the man who takes care of snow removal, and a friend who takes care of my cat when I'm out of town. I'm retiring soon and expect to be able to handle the cleaning myself, plus it's good exercise, but I still think about hiring a housekeeper because my bathtubs are killer and I detest vacuuming. No husband or children here either, although the resident feline never seems to stop shedding.

I don't know what cleaners charge, but I'd either hire my landscaper's wife or ask around and get someone who does it on their own. I've heard negative things about the commercial cleaning services, including that they don't treat their employees very well.

7-23-11, 10:10pm
I don't know what cleaners charge, but here's a suggestion: figure out how long it takes you to do what she will be doing, and offer her a living wage for that amount of time. I think that one of the cities, possibly Mpls, has a living wage law, so you might be able to look up what they consider that to be in our area.

7-24-11, 9:57am
5 hours, once a week. She does a thorough clean and vacuuming, deep cleans the loos and bathrooms and dusts things like light fittings, books and other things, she scrubs the bathroom floors and the kitchen, too. She also does a full basket of ironing (it would be worth it just to have her do that!). Every second week she thoroughly cleans the ovens and hobs. She also cleans my silver collecction. All in 5 hours!

It costs me 15 GBP per hour - and worth every penny.

7-24-11, 10:32am
Thanks guys! I think that the floors and our two bathrooms probably take me about an hour to an hour and a half if I am uninterrupted and do a thorough job. I am going to offer her $30.

Later in the summer I will probably pay her to do some fall cleaning chores too.

Mighty Frugal
7-24-11, 11:00am
That sounds fair. Around here cleaning ladies charge $20 per hour. I was picking the brain of one neighbour asking all about what her cleaning lady does, how much she charges,how long it takes her. My neighbour assumed I wanted a cleaning lady but truth be told, it is a future job for ME if I ever leave the corporate world and when my kids are old enough to stay home alone. I think it's a marvelous way to earn a living-set our own hours, work independently and get all the exercise you need!

Fawn- I LOVE your sign up sheet and will do the same once my boys are old enough to really help.

7-24-11, 1:26pm
FM I have two friends who are cleaning people and both of them really like it. I have thought about suggesting housecleaning to my daughter as an alternative to a high school job when she is older. She mostly really likes to clean and she does a good job.

Fawn, I love the sign up sheet idea too.

7-24-11, 2:55pm
When we had a cleaning lady (stopped about 1 1/2 years ago), she came once every other week. It took her about 4 hours to clean everything, from bathrooms, to kitchen, to dusting, to floors, to windows. We paid $90 per visit, with an occasional extra $10 tip thrown in. Also and extra $100 for Christmas.

7-26-11, 5:40am
Most services here require a 2 hour minimum and are $60-$80 an hour. And that was a few years ago when I was pricing it for a gift.

7-28-11, 6:40pm
Like Fawn said, we have our kids do most of the chores and we pay them to do it as incentive. They're still too young to go out and get jobs on their own so it gives them a little spending money too. For big projects though, I have hired cleaners in the past (things like carpets) and just to give the house a good once-over, usually in the spring or before a big event. The company that I used to use recently closed its doors so I've been looking for a new Indianapolis house cleaning (http://angieslist.com/companylist/indianapolis/house-cleaning.htm) service. Does anyone have any suggestions in that part of the country?

the rickster
7-29-11, 4:08pm
Skater, I'm pretty familiar with Indianapolis. There are lots of house cleaning services here and I don't blame you for wanting some suggestions as you want to be careful having people come into your house that you don't know. Be sure they are bonded at the very least.

Good luck!

7-29-11, 4:43pm
Shari that is expensive. My friend used to work for a cleaning service and they charged a lot, but she only made about $10 an hour.

skater, my husband's family is from Indianapolis. I can ask them if they know anyone. My older kids have chores, but my kids are pretty young and a lot of the stuff I need done they aren't physically big enough to do well. 7,6,2 and 4 months. Obviously the younger two are no help at all. :)

8-10-11, 5:31pm
Just an update, I have had my friend come and clean two weeks in a row now and I don't know how I ever lived without this! I paid her $50 each week and she worked with me for about 2.5-3 hours and did a fantastic job. She keeps commenting on how much I am paying her and I feel like I am getting a very good deal. She comes on Monday and the rest of the week I am able to keep things up without a huge amount of effort. I clean alongside her and we've been deep cleaning one area a week and have only two areas left to go. Then we'll do the main cleaning and start on fall cleaning type jobs like vacuuming screens, flipping mattresses, changing out the summer and winter clothes, etc.

At the end of the day I'm not cranky and stressed out and complaining about people's mess making. That is so totally worth $50 a week!

8-10-11, 9:47pm
We have a cleaning person she comes every other week and cleans two bathrooms, the kitchen and the living room. It's $65 a visit. I think it's well worth it though! I love our house after she's done with it!

8-17-11, 7:07pm
I have a home that is about 2200 sq feet and I live in a small town. I pay $75 every two weeks and my cleaning lady is here from about 9:15am to 1:15.

9-7-11, 2:48pm
I am a nanny here where they use Merry Maids. It is $145 every other week for 2 cleaners. They stay about 1 1/2 hours and do a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house. It is a marriage saver for 2 working parents. I am here or the Mom and they are very professional and nice ladies.