Having a cleaner has been a bit of a life-goal of mine for some time. We’ve talked about it for years, in fact the first time I looked into it was when Ben was a baby and I was going back to work full time. I saw it as buying time with Ben and therefore worth every penny. As it was, I went back to work in the July and was pregnant again by October so we never got round to it.
Now, some nine years later, after a number of one off cleans and lots of conversation about whether we could find the money, we’ve finally bitten the bullet and hired a cleaner. The final straw I think was actually the fact that, thanks to my ridiculous dust allergy, I can no longer empty the vacuum or dust the pictures without my chronic urticaria flaring up and leaving me with sore / itchy patches on my arms for weeks on end.
I know that finding a good cleaner can be really tricky – at the end of the day letting a practical stranger into your home to clean is quite an intimate thing I think. I’ve debated with Mum over the years, the benefits of having a team of cleaners who work for a larger company versus an individual working for themselves. I generally think that whilst a larger company offers the back up and reassurance of a reputation built over time, an individual working for themselves is more personal and as such I think they will care more when their own employment rests on how good a job they do rather than it being “just another job” for their company.
We were lucky to be able to hire someone through word of mouth – someone who I actually knew prior to hiring them and someone who has been cleaning for a friend of mine for over a year now. This meant I was confident that I could trust her and that she would do a good job!
We had initially planned to book a two hour clean once a week – from speaking to other people this seemed to be a good starting point. Unfortunately our cleaner was only able to offer us three hours once a fortnight but as I was keen to have her do the job over someone else we compromised and went with that on the basis that we would see how it went and look at upping the hours later if necessary.
Ahead of starting her regular fortnightly slot, our cleaner did a deep clean – she absolutely bottomed the house while we were at out at work, taking about eight hours! As you can imagine, this made a huge difference! We’ve since stuck with fortnightly three hour cleans – however given the choice I’d still up this to two hours a week.
I can’t tell you how much I love coming home to a spotless house. My skin is so much less irritated (though not perfect!) as I’m only having to do bits of cleaning to keep on top of it and knowing that the cleaner is coming is helping the kids to be more tidy too. (That might be because we told them she’d throw things out if they left them lying around!)
You might think that a cleaner is an unnecessary luxury considering I work from home – but that’s almost the point. Working from home means I’m in this environment all the time. Obviously it’s a much nicer place to be when everything is clean and tidy but sometimes it can be hard to take time out from my work to do jobs around the house and besides, my time is more productively spent earning money!
Hiring a cleaner has definitely been the right decision for us and something I’d find very difficult to give up again! Have you got a cleaner? Have you considered it?