Outsourcing your house cleaning or do it yourself?
Outsourcing your house cleaning is something many people wish for. And the thought of someone else cleaning your house is enough to give some people the heebie jeebies. Some of us are not so great at delegating responsibilities. Others of us think we can clean the house better ourselves. But don’t worry, I’m about to share with you the reasons why most people hire house cleaners – and then you can decide if it’s right for you.
What would be your first three reasons for hiring house cleaners?
The top three reasons people hire house cleaners are:
- They are overwhelmed with surprise chores that compete for their attention.
- Responsibilities include daily chores but the weekly and bi-weekly chores just don’t get done.
- Your time is more valuable spent elsewhere.
The top three reasons people don’t hire house cleaners are:
- They don’t have the money.
- They don’t want to, or know how to delegate
- They think they can do it better, cheaper, or faster themeslves.
So which is it? Do it yourself or outsourcing?
Overwhelmed with surprise chores – outsourcing required
As a home owner you’re going to get bombarded with home related tasks that compete for your attention. For example, I have a metal patio furniture set that we’ve had for about fourteen years. It looks brand new. The reason it looks brand new is because every other year, I drag it all off the deck, pressure wash it, and check the under sides for rust. While it’s off the deck, I grab some sandpaper and sand down the rusty spots. Then paint it with Rustoleum to prevent it from rusting further. Sounds like an easy process right?
So last week I drag all the patio furniture off the deck when it occurs to me that while I have the pressure washer out, I should also pressure wash the deck. Which I did. And while spraying the deck discover that I have a big board that’s oozing tree sap that needs replacing. Enter outsourcing overwhelm. The refinishing the patio furniture project just turned into deck repair.
Outsource or do it yourself?
I call the deck guy and he’s going to charge me $166. come out and replace the 14 foot board and a 3 foot piece of the railing that is warping. He then asks me if the deck needs staining while he’s painting the board to match the deck. I check and yep, the deck that gets 12 hours of direct sunlight each day in 100 degree weather and heavy humidity is fading too. But not to worry, he’ll paint the deck for roughly $497 depending on the labor involved. Plus the stain which is about $230. So roughly before tax, any extra labor, and tips we’re looking at $893. This could easily be a thousand dollar project. Do I outsource it – or do it myself? That’s a lot of money I wasn’t going to spend a minute ago – and it’s not in my monthly “fix things” budget.
The replacement boards at Home Depot costs me $14.97. And I pick up some BEHR PREMIUM Textured Deck Over concrete stain (custom colored to match my deck) for $168 for a five gallon bucket. I’m not counting my own labor here but right now before tax, I’m still under $200. Maybe I can get my husband to help with the deck repairs on his day off.
Responsibilities biggest friend – Outsourcing
As a home owner one week it’s the deck, the next week it’s the sprinkler that has a broken zone. In our house we don’t have assigned chores. We expect everybody to carry their own weight. This includes picking up after yourself, washing your own dishes, doing your own laundry, taking out your own trash, making your own bed.
Let’s call a repair guy
We never discussed who calls the sprinkler guy to come fix it when it’s broke. So three cheers for my husband who took the initiative to call and set an appointment. Problem is he forgot to ask me if I was going to be home when Eric the sprinkler guy came by. I wasn’t. I was out on a job, and Pat texts me to find out why I’m not opening the garage door for Eric, he can’t get in to turn the water on and off.
I’m at work too
Pat has a gizmo where he can turn the sprinkler on and off from his phone. So he spends the next three hours responding to texts from Eric, to turn the water on and off and discussing via text what’s wrong. I asked Pat why he didn’t just give Eric the password to the sprinkler app – but I’m still waiting for an answer.
My point is that it’s time consuming to have to be at home when the repair guy comes, or to have to manage the job from a distance via phone.
Whose job is it?
Household responsibilities come in all forms and some of them don’t fit into the category of “carrying your own weight.” There’s spring cleaning, and special occasion cleaning for family parties. The family’s coming over for Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Holiday cookouts and traditional holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas and Birthday Parties. Who is going to clean the house for those occasions? Who is going to mop the floors? Clean the bathrooms? Dust the whole house from top to bottom? Should you outsource it or do it yourself?
Many people hire house cleaners because unlike the deck guy – there’s a fixed price. You can budget for the service and you know exactly what to expect.
If you hire a great house cleaner, you won’t worry if he or she is doing a good job, and you won’t have to micro manage them. They won’t keep bugging you with new quotes, new things that need to be cleaned. If something out of the ordinary is dirty – it’s included in the price. And if it can’t be cleaned today, it can rotate on the regular cleaning schedule.
Unlike the sprinkler who guy comes once a year or less – your house cleaner comes weekly or bi-weekly. You’ve got a regular house cleaner who has a key to your house and a password to your alarm. This is a person you trust with your biggest asset – your home and all your stuff inside. And you don’t need to worry about being at home when they come to clean.
If things break or leak at your house – the house cleaner will find it while cleaning. They can alert you before the damage becomes a major repair. Truth is stuff that’s neglected falls apart. If you don’t stay on top of your home maintenance, you can end up paying for some serious repairs like my deck that was just destroyed. Thank you nature.
Your house cleaner knows your house, your pets, has an access key, and works in your neighborhood. This makes them an excellent resource for pet watching, watering plants, and house sitting if you are away for long periods of time. Of course you would pay them more for extra services you request, and a tip is always nice.
If a house cleaner or maid service come on a regular basis, all the seasonal and special occasion cleaning can be part of their cleaning routine. You’ll still have your daily chores, to split with your kids and spouse. Dishes, laundry, making
beds, picking up toys etc. But when you outsource your weekly cleaning, you can rotate chores between cleanings.
If you work all day the last thing you want to do is come home and scrub out toilets, wash windows and organize toy boxes. This is one of the biggest reasons people hire a maid service or a house cleaner.
Time is Money
And if you make a lot of money – your time is better spent outsourcing your lesser chores to someone who can do it for you. Say you’re a therapist and you charge $150 an hour. If your house cleaner charges $25 an hour and it takes her four hours to clean your house, you’ve spent $100. If you spend the same four hours to clean your house – at your rate – it would cost you $600. So you pay the $100 and outsource your house cleaning and you just bought back $500 worth of your time.
These are some of the reasons people hire house cleaners – What are your reasons?