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house keeping prices
Old 07-12-2007, 01:06 PM   #1
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house keeping prices

hi,

my SO finally broke down and wants to hire someone to come 2 x's per week and clean.

One person came yesterday and gave us estimate for $85/visit, every two weeks, or $65 visit, every week = for 4 bedroom house, about 1700sq ft.

We initially only wanted the floors, kitchen and bathrooms, but she seems to be a full package gal. And there was only a small difference for cutting it down to the kitchen/bath/flr option before (about $10-15 less per week), vs. helping to clean all the rooms, vacuum, etc.

What are others paying for similar service?

Please let me know what part of the country you're in too, since markets must vary.

it seems pricey to me $170 per month! but hey, i'm not one that concerned with cleanliness..he he he (and i'm not the one paying! woo hoo!)

and no lectures about doin' it yourself, cuz we've already come to the conclusion that ain't happenin'!
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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I found there were three types of cleaners. Ones that did "deep cleaning", ones that did "quick cleaning", and the ones that broke stuff and tried to hide it.

I had a cleaner that did "deep cleaning"...which meant removing the appliances from the counter before wiping, vacuuming under tables and stuff, taking down the light fixture covers and wiping the dust and dead bugs out of them as needed. On a 3000 sq ft 4 bedroom house...seven years ago...that was a hundred bucks per visit and the visit was about six hours.

I had them come every other week and a 'quick cleaner' come in the interim week. They just vacuumed and mopped, wiped the counters, changed the bedding. Took the two of them a little over an hour. $50.

Of course, adjust for 7 years of inflation, shopping around, and going through six or seven lousy cleaners or stuff breakers before I found some good ones.

I had no luck with commercial or large services, most of which seemed to hire the stuff breakers on contract. The 'deep cleaner' was a woman in the neighborhood who ran it as a small biz out of her house and hired a couple of younger kids to do most of the work. The 'quick cleaner' was a pair of sisters who did it part time to supplement their income.

And yeah, they were cute.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:18 PM   #3
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yeah, i heard folks found the larger companies tended to do shabbier work...now i know why, the gal who gave me estimate used to work for one, and they paid her $40/day for 8am-8pm - which is horrible for cleaning all day! which is why she started her own service...
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #4
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Apparently we've got a steal. Wife's friend/former co-worker comes every other week. Does bathrooms, vacuums, kitchen, mops, "tidy's the place up", picks up toys, dusts, etc. Basically, hits the high spots. Does what is needed the most.

3-4 hrs. every other week at $10/hr., Cash. Ahh, the cheap Mid-west.

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Old 07-12-2007, 02:18 PM   #5
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So much for "cheap mid-west"

I'm in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. For a 4 bedroom 2700 Sq ft they want $85 for a 5 person crew that works for one hour.

I also found a great industrial cleaner that we used when we first moved in. They do EVERYTHING including carpet cleaning (steam) removing and cleaning in vents, windows, moving appliances, etc for $250
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bright eyed View Post
my SO finally broke down and wants to hire someone to come 2 x's per week and clean.
This may seem like a dumb question, but I come from a background of obsessive cleanliness where we frequently took apart equipment just to see if it was about to break. Eventually we came to our senses, made fewer messes, and did more routine cleaning & monitoring instead of deep-cleaning & teardowns.

Considering the annual cost of the cleaning, would it be worth spending money to avoid getting things dirty in the first place?

Seriously-- water conditioners cut down on the mineral deposits, vinyl or ceramic tile cuts down on the floor wax & vacuuming, wiping down showers & tubs after use cuts down on the deep-cleaning horror, a light coat of paste wax in a ceramic sink cuts down on the dirt buildup, Rain-X on windows reduces the dirt buildup, glass tops on tables protect their finishes, semi-gloss paint on the walls & gloss paint on the trim/moldings, no shoes in the house, a HEPA filter on the vacuum cleaner... the list goes on & on.

At a minimum instead of paying a weekly fee to have someone clean a floor, buy a $200 Roomba or Scooba off Craiglist. It takes us five minutes a week to set up our diningroom & kitchen to let our Scoobie run wild, and it takes one minute to set up for the major hallways, entryway, & bathrooms. It's a little less hassle than chasing after a more expensive human.

Efficient cleaning reduces the drudgery, too. We've learned a lot from "Speed Cleaning".

The one good thing about the housecleaner days was that we kept things picked up and put away so that she could more easily do her job. But even since letting the housecleaner go we've preserved the habits of not piling things on every horizontal surface.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:12 PM   #7
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I had the opposite experience. When I had a cleaner I made sure to not leave big heaping piles of crap on the counters and floors, as they'd just put the stuff away willy nilly and then I'd never find it again.

Reasonably minor until one of the items was my mastercard bill and it was 5 days overdue when I found it.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:48 PM   #8
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So much for "cheap mid-west"
I'm in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. For a 4 bedroom 2700 Sq ft they want $85 for a 5 person crew that works for one hour.
I also found a great industrial cleaner that we used when we first moved in. They do EVERYTHING including carpet cleaning (steam) removing and cleaning in vents, windows, moving appliances, etc for $250

That 5 person crew seems really cheap but you might get an even better deal from immigrants; I'm sure the Northside has them. I hired a Brazilian who put a flyer on my door (which I interpreted to mean "will not complain about absolute lack of parking").

I live in San Francisco and had a bonded service for a while (early '90s) for my studio apt; when the price went to $75 a pop (for one cleaning person who sometimes locked my terminally ill cat out in the hallway) I bailed and cleaned it myself for a few years until I got sick and hired the Brazilian lady for $40 a pop (that is $40/week or $60/bi-weekly); after recovering I kept her; after four years she asked for a raise to $50 a pop and it still seems like a good deal. By "pop" I mean basic cleaning.

I put things away before she arrives, there's nothing worse than searching high and low for the all-important fresh ground beans. I think the price of it is always more than you might want to pay but it's one of the last luxuries I would give up.

On another thread we were discussing material purchases, I think a lot of us spend more freely on services like this than on stuff.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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hi,
and no lectures about doin' it yourself, cuz we've already come to the conclusion that ain't happenin'!



Nords - i swear, i've tried . it's just not in my DNA i'm the messiest in my family, my sisters are quite clean. add the kids, dog, 60 hr work wks and motivation is LOST.

I've actually, over the last 6 years of being a MOM, learned many things and gotten better - it's just not enough. SO commutes 90-100 miles per day and gets home after 7 or 8..leaves around 5am-6am depending on the day...so even though some people share our burden and are cleaner, we're messy people w/ busy lives...

but i will be waiting for the little darlings as they grow up and add to their list of chores! which will definitely reduce the random piles of kids stuff here and there.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:56 PM   #10
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Yep, when I was working Other People did everything for me. Cleaned my house, did my landscaping, fixed my cars, fixed my house.

That does have its downsides though. I lived in California for 10 years before I found out that you dont have to cut your lawn in the winter, it only grows about a half inch a month. It wasnt until I was home on a vacation day when the lawn dude showed up, fired up his leaf blower, blew a few things around the driveway and left.

So inspired by this effort, I fired him, then took my rarely used leafblower into the house and that worked so well at cleaning stuff that I fired the maid too.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:01 PM   #11
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I have someone come in every other week, yea I have a small house but with the dog it seemed to be bigger, or the mess was bigger, don't know which. Anyway, she cleans the bathroom very well, washes the kitchen and cleans all surfaces there, vacumes the rest of the house and the bedroom upstairs and changes the bed. She is not allowed to dust, too many broken things, does fine on the rest of the stuff. It's nice to come home to a clean house and well worth the $40. Oh and this included putting out the dog if needed and giving him hugs to make him feel better....couldn't beat that.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:03 PM   #12
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$85

I live in NC. I have a mother-daughter team that comes in every other week. They are not with an agency, I found them through a friend of a friend. I pay them $85, they are usually at the house for about 2 hours. The house is 3 BR, 2.5 BA, about 2200 square feet. They vacuum all surfaces, dust, clean all bathrooms, full wipe-downs in the kitchen, inside of microwave, toaster oven, etc., mop kitchen floor, take all the trash out, change sheets, and then run the sheets through laundry. Then they fold the clean sheets into absolutely amazing tight rectangles - just like when they were brand new from the store. I've never figured out how they do that!

Anyhow, 5-6 years ago, I cringed at paying (then) $65 per visit. But we were drowning in chaos, with 2 small children and 2 fulltime jobs, and needed the help desperately.

It's ended up being an enormous relief, they're definitely worth what I pay them. I LOVE coming home to a sparkling clean house. The only downside is that you really need to do a good pick-up job before they come, or they will put things away in mysterious places.

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Old 07-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #13
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Nords - i swear, i've tried . it's just not in my DNA i'm the messiest in my family, my sisters are quite clean. add the kids, dog, 60 hr work wks and motivation is LOST.
No need to shout, I really did read & comprehend your post the first time. I'm not suggesting that you do the cleaning yourself-- if that could be done then you'd already be doing it and you wouldn't be posting here.

I'm suggesting that you find ways to avoid having the messes occur in the first place. You're taking on a recurring expense to clean a recurring problem instead of spending a fixed amount up front to avoid the problem. When you add in all the other stresses around you and I can understand that it's hard to take a step back and re-evaluate the way things are done. While it may be a better way to do things in the long term, I understand that it may be "too hard" to tackle that kind of change. So if spending the money makes you feel better than trying to change the way you do things, then by all means spend the money.

We had the same problem when we were both working 50-60 hour weeks, and we had a housecleaner that was driving us nuts with her wacky behavior & self-imposed life dramas. We used the approach that I described above, and today we do less cleaning than we've ever done in our lives-- let alone less than the housecleaner did when we were paying her to do it for us. We didn't even have to use a leaf blower.

If you think the little darlings will clean more than they mess when they're older... well... good luck with that. I used to think that nothing could mess up a house like a toddler-- until we awarded kitchen privileges to our teenager.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:22 PM   #14
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In this midsize, upper midwest city I pay $45/week for 1 woman for 3 hours. She's been cleaning for us for 18 years. Obviously, we're more than pleased with her work. She's so trustworthy that several of her clients (including us) have her housesit for pets and/or kids when on vacation.

She's worth every cent.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:23 PM   #15
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I had a cleaning person about 4 years ago, in California. 2000 sq foot home. She came every other week and it cost $85 each time. The first visit was a deep cleaning and I think it was $225. That took 2 people a lot of hours.

For the $85, she mopped, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned 3 bathrooms completely, cleaned the kitchen (not inside appliances) and laundry room.

It took her roughly 3 hours, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter. I always picked up everything off counters and floors. If I wanted something else like windows or beds changed, we negotiated that separately.

It was wonderful to come home from work on a Friday afternoon and have all the housework done. I do it myself now....not as much fun, but free.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:57 PM   #16
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No need to shout, I really did read & comprehend your post the first time. I'm not suggesting that you do the cleaning yourself-- if that could be done then you'd already be doing it and you wouldn't be posting here.

I'm suggesting that you find ways to avoid having the messes occur in the first place. You're taking on a recurring expense to clean a recurring problem instead of spending a fixed amount up front to avoid the problem. When you add in all the other stresses around you and I can understand that it's hard to take a step back and re-evaluate the way things are done. While it may be a better way to do things in the long term, I understand that it may be "too hard" to tackle that kind of change. So if spending the money makes you feel better than trying to change the way you do things, then by all means spend the money.

We had the same problem when we were both working 50-60 hour weeks, and we had a housecleaner that was driving us nuts with her wacky behavior & self-imposed life dramas. We used the approach that I described above, and today we do less cleaning than we've ever done in our lives-- let alone less than the housecleaner did when we were paying her to do it for us. We didn't even have to use a leaf blower.

If you think the little darlings will clean more than they mess when they're older... well... good luck with that. I used to think that nothing could mess up a house like a toddler-- until we awarded kitchen privileges to our teenager.
was i shouting?

no leaf blower, but maybe a shop vac...

funny thing is - that our teen boy is the cleanest in the house - because we're actually good at enforcing rules on others - just not ourselves. he does his own laundry, puts away his stuff, and he does dishes friday- sunday and takes out the trash...

so i'm just salivating at the potential of two little darlings i have in the wings...thank goodness for montessori, older daughter is great at putting stuff away, and i just learned great at folding towels! ha ! the smallest right now, has gotten very good at picking something up in one room and depositing it somewhere else... at least she's really cute while she's doing it.

the house cleaning is by no means a long term decision - but for now, i'd like them to have a clean tub to wash in and reduce the constant "i should be doing" guilt in my head...
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:58 PM   #17
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2 x's per week
You must not mean two times per week, that would not be necessary.

Back when we both worked, we used to have someone come in every other week. I never liked having someone else in the house. My ideal would be to have someone I trust completely come in when I'm not home, and come home to a clean house.

But we just clean every week or two -- DW does the upstairs and I do the downstairs.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:59 PM   #18
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oops 2 x's per month...
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:00 PM   #19
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Oh man, the leafblower was the bomb for dusting. And...pretty much everything else.

Opened the sliding door out back, and just blew everything in that direction and out the door.

Niiice.

We have three ~100lb dogs and three cats that arent particularly happy about the dogs and represent their displeasure by periodically pooping where i'll step in it.

Resistance is futile. Proactive dirt avoidance is not going to happen.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:01 PM   #20
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I have a local company come in every other week. It's a small three bedroom, one bath. $60 per visit. They do floors, dust, kitchen and bath. I felt guilty enough starting this up five years ago -- now I'm trying to figure out how to justify it when I retire.

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