Can You Afford a Housekeeper?
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Can You Afford a Housekeeper?

by Martha Scully

Do you dread coming home to a messy house? Do you waste money eating out because you can’t face your kitchen? Is getting ready to leave your home a stressful event, simply because you can’t find the items you need in the piles of stuff?

If so, you’re not alone. Housekeeping is a huge stress for most middle-class families. It often causes tensions in partnerships and key relationships. Even single individuals can feel overwhelmed by everyday house cleaning tasks. When left undone, these chores quickly pile up and create confusion and chaos that can sap you of your creative energy, drive, and focus.

Can You Afford To Pay Someone to Clean Your Home?

In this article, we’ll have a look at the return on investment (ROI) of paying for a housekeeper.

Your Work Away From Work

Let’s face it: cleaning your home is hard. It requires both a mental and physical effort. Keeping a house up is really like a second job. But strangely enough, people who would never dream of changing the oil in their car, fixing a broken window or cutting their own hair are still sometimes reluctant to hire a house cleaner, even when it becomes obvious that they need help. Many people struggle with assigning tasks to others, particularly when the task is a personal one. It might be because you feel guilty asking someone else to do something menial or laborious or even because you are particular about how the task is done.

Very often, people just assume they can’t afford a housekeeper. But most people have never seriously inquired about the cost of housekeeping. While a hiring a daily, live-in housekeeper may be beyond the means of all but a few, most people can afford to have a weekly or bi-weekly service come in. Even freeing up a small amount of time and energy each week can make a big difference when pursuing a demanding career and administering family and social life.

The Art of Delegation

Most people are pleasantly surprised at the cost of house cleaning and how affordable it is. What they might really mean when they say that they can’t afford it is that they feel that using a maid service or home cleaning company is pretentious — or even a selfish luxury. They might have grown up with a mother who kept the house up on her own and even considered it a point of pride. The working class ethic of DIY is great when you have the time and skills. But today’s competitive workplaces demands more and more from each employee, while those striking out on their own on an entrepreneurial adventure or freelance lifestyle work twice as hard.

What is Your Time Worth in Real Dollars?

Delegation is an essential element in the equation of success. Learning which tasks and chores to assign to others and which ones to do yourself can be tough. According to conventional wisdom, if you can use the time to make more money than you are spending, it’s worth it to hire someone to do it. For an eye-opening experience, use this cool calculator to find out exactly what your time is worth.

Is Your Time More Valuable Than Money?

But simple dollar equations don’t always add up. Time can be even more valuable than money. For a single parent grinding out a thesis that will shape future opportunities or experiencing a health crisis, housekeeping can be an essential support that helps keep your head above the water.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself

When thinking about housework, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I enjoy this task, and is it important to me in some fundamental way?
  • What could I do with the time I spend cleaning each week? (Exercising, writing a business plan, learning a new skill, working or building a social network)
  • Am I neglecting important relationships and family time?
  • What is keeping me from getting organized?
  • Could I earn more if I was freed up from housework?
  • How much does a housekeeper cost compared what I’m missing?

For those still feeling uncomfortable with the idea of having someone else clean their house, it’s worth remembering that for countless workers, house cleaning provides an income and reliable source of employment. Having an expert come in can also help you learn better cleaning techniques and tips.

Learning Organization

Many people are also surprised to learn that having a cleaning service come in helps them develop tidier habits and better organizational skills. This is because you might have more respect for your housekeeper than you do for yourself when it comes to a daily task like doing the dishes. You might find you have more time to work on organizational projects and other tasks when you get a little help on the labor end.

Benefits of an Organized Home

Coming home to a clean home is just an amazing feeling. It can set the stage for positive family time, relaxation and socialization, not to mention make it easier to work, study and focus on administrative tasks.

Conclusion

The cost of housekeeping might not be as expensive as you think, especially when you realize how the on-demand economy has revitalized the service industry.

By cutting out the administrative layer and connecting consumers and workers directly, there are many affordable and flexible options for families and individuals. The cost of housekeeping brings a big ROI in better productivity, happier families, less stress and more time to pursue the activities that give your life meaning.


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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.