I’ve had house cleaners for the past six years. I love a clean house, but I hate cleaning! When I was busy buying and selling foreclosures it was a no brainer – my time was worth way more than it cost to have the cleaners.
Not so much any more. But now that I have arthritis in my hands, it’s still plenty easy to justify. Trust me, it’s the ONLY good thing about arthritis.
Prior to our move we had a mother/daughter-in-law come every two weeks. They were very nice. But the arrangement left a lot to be desired. I had to provide all the cleaning supplies. They were brutal with my vacuum cleaner. They didn’t take credit cards. And I was 90% sure everything was under the table, which bugged me.
I was paying $120/visit.
When we moved to the new house, which is a lot bigger, I was worried about how much of an increase I would be paying. I decided to investigate a few cleaning services I had heard about. And, since I was worried about the cost, I decided that I wouldn’t have the whole house cleaned. I would exclude my office, the rec room downstairs, my sons’ bedrooms (since they were usually away at college) and their shared bathroom. I can handle my office, the guest bathroom and the rec room, which don’t get very messy. And a few times/year (ie. after summer and Christmas breaks) I ask that they clean one of the boys’ rooms and their bathroom instead of our daughter’s.
One of the services gave me a quote over the phone that was MUCH higher than the $120 I was used to paying. Yikes! Another, however, sent someone to the house. She went through all the areas I wanted cleaned and quoted me $80* per clean. And that was for an “open-ended agreement”. The price was $70/clean if I signed a “12-month agreement”. (*Note: the price is now $84.)
The price doesn’t include a tip, so add another 15% to those amounts. So far, I’ve opted for the $80 arrangement, since it gives me a little more flexibility. I’ve been out of town a few times and have been able to cancel service, which I wouldn’t be able to do with the more rigid agreement. My total cost per clean is $92, including tips, which is substantially lower than the $120 I was paying before. And they are probably cleaning the same square footage as was being cleaned before.
It’s been two years and I’m really satisfied. The service has been great with few mixups. They provide their own supplies and vacuum. The company charges my credit card, so I get miles. The cleaners work VERY hard and do a better job, I think, than the previous ones. They’ve also instituted a reward program. I’ve gotten a free clean due to a referral I made to a friend and I’ve almost got enough points to get two more free cleans.
And I’m saving around $56/month compared to the service I used to have!!!
Note: This post originally appeared on Aug 31, 2012