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Old 11-05-2015, 09:59 AM   #61
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Lots of comments about the joys of a clean house. Yet most folks who say they hire a cleaner have the cleaner in only every 2 weeks? Yuuuch........
My DIY system pretty much works that way. Week 1 I work through all the rooms on the main floor and Week 2 I do the downstairs. I can get all the rooms on one floor done over 3 days. No pets or kids in the house- just DH and me. Of course we wipe down countertops in the kitchen and sweep the floor when needed, but even by my picky standards the place is clean.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:04 AM   #62
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When someone is in your home doing their contracted job, what is your liability if they were to hurt themselves?
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #63
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My 90-year old mom (who could well afford a house cleaner) refused to hire one to keep up the 2700 square foot house where she lived alone.

She fell while vacuuming her stairs. This fall led to her giving up her house. She just turned 92, but she is in a nursing home and her quality of life poor.

She might have lasted awhile longer living alone in her house (or been able to transition to assisted living vs. nursing home), had she been able to overcome her aversion to in-home help.

Based on my mom's experience and depending on the size of my dwelling, I plan to revisit my stance on this issue as I age.

Hiring from a bonded and insured agency can mitigate, though probably not eliminate, the risk of theft and other crime.

A "no strangers for in-home help" policy is pretty costly later on in retirement, IMHO.


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Old 11-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #64
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When someone is in your home doing their contracted job, what is your liability if they were to hurt themselves?
I'll give you a partial answer to that even though I'm not a lawyer (just worked in property-casualty insurance for 38 years). Most homeowner's insurance policies provide coverage for "occasional" or "casual" workers. You need to look at the wording, though; someone who comes in even every 2 weeks is probably not considered "occasional" but you can usually buy an endorsement to cover them for not much money. If they work for a major franchise, the franchise probably covers Workers' Compensation (you can ask) and you'd be liable only for gross negligence. That might include things like keeping a vicious dog around. One of our "off-the-books" cleaning ladies was starting to develop sensitivities to the cleaning chemicals she used. Over the long run, that could have been an expensive problem.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:00 AM   #65
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bestwifeever, elisap and athena53.......... I thought I'd get some responses! Hee, hee...... I'm glad to hear you are all busy rolling up your sleeves and cleaning between visits by the professional. It's amazing how little (essentially zero) that DIY supplemental activity has been mentioned in the 3+ pages of posts.......

Our feeling was always that 3 or 4 hours bi-weekly cannot result in a "deep cleaning." You can get the "smell of PineSol" alright, but you're not really going to deep clean a whole house in 3 or 4 hours bi-weekly. So, for better or for worse, here's what we did/do.

Pre-FIRE while we were both working, we had a pro cleaner (independent business person and someone we knew) come in for a half day every Friday. She would spend a couple hours doing the usual basics with the vacuum cleaner, dust rag and bathroom/kitchen sanitizers. Then she'd spend about two hours on that week's project such as windows, ceiling fan blades, empty and clean the fridge, clean the stove, etc. We did nothing other than try to be tidy and keep things put away. This was fairly expensive, but it kept us from having to figure out who was doing what and when. She did it all. And 4 hours a week was not a minute too much for the project. That's why I was questioning the 3 - 4 hours bi-weekly or even per month some folks were quoting.

During this same time, my MIL came weekly (also Fridays) and did our laundry. That was great! She was fastidious, even ironing my undies, doing alterations (fabulous seamstress) and sewing patches on Cub Scout shirts for the grand kids!

With retirement a decade ago, we found that paying for a half day of cleaning time every week suddenly seemed more expensive. But, every other week didn't get the job done to our liking. Rather than figure out some scheme to split the work with a pro cleaner such as you folks are doing, we just got organized and started doing it ourselves. And MIL got furloughed too as we just weren't wearing clothes than were troublesome to launder and we had almost zero ironing. (Although I do miss having my undies ironed, folded and put away with precision.)

Our house is smallish, we're relatively tidy and we're pretty organized about how we get things done. DIY is working out OK. Admittedly, things aren't quite as spiffy as when the pro-cleaner and MIL were pulling the plow.

I did start using a lawn service. We've been traveling far too much to impose on the neighbors or the kids (who live in a neighboring suburb) to be cutting our grass.

And I've been paying for some other repair and maintenance services such as vehicle oil changes, cleaning and inspecting the HVAC system, cleaning the gutters, etc., that I used to do myself.

It's an ongoing journey.

Glad you folks are enjoying the way you're doing it!
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #66
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Glad you have found the perfect solution, youbet.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:22 AM   #67
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Man, I have never thought that my underwear would need ironing. I would have thought that it is a privilege for royalties.

We have never had house cleaning. It does not feel right for privacy reasons, the same as many posters have listed. And then, for us the cleaning is not the tough part, but the arranging stuff into places where it belongs, or the reorganizing. I do not think somebody else can do that for me, or if that is done I will never be able to find it again.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:29 AM   #68
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We outsource anything we don't like. When our regular lady is on holidays, I vacuum because DW hates it. The place gets dusty except for where we live because we both hate that. I keep the ceiling lights clean and the tops of bookcases dusted because our lady is not steady enough to do it. We also have liability coverage but if she fell, we would be hard done by to be without her.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:31 AM   #69
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Man, I have never thought that my underwear would need ironing. I would have thought that it is a privilege for royalties.
When I was a child, one of my least favorite regular chores after school was to do all the ironing. I was required to iron the underwear for my parents and my two big brothers (plus all their clothing, the sheets and pillowcases, and even the towels). The only exception was my father's dress shirts which were sent out to the cleaners.

I can tell you first hand that ironing is a PITA! I burned myself a lot doing all that ironing. I don't iron any more, and in fact during this past move I gave my iron to Good Will. At least I intended to do that although I am a little fuzzy about whether or not I actually did. If I run across it I think I will throw it in Lake Ponchartrain.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:31 AM   #70
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Ironing undies? Why? Seriously - I can't imagine what benefit that has. Don't they just get wrinkled under your pants? And who's going to see them in their ironed glory?
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:33 AM   #71
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Ironing undies? Why?

And who's going to see them in their ironed glory?
I think this falls under the category of "Don't ask, don't tell."
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:33 AM   #72
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Ironing undies? Why? Seriously - I can't imagine what benefit that has. Don't they just get wrinkled under your pants? And who's going to see them in their ironed glory?
That's what I thought! It didn't help, though. I still had to do it and do a good job of it, too.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:34 AM   #73
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I think this falls under the category of "Don't ask, don't tell."
LOL
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:34 AM   #74
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Man, I have never thought that my underwear would need ironing.
I didn't either. Who knew? It was quite a surprise opening my drawer and finding things in such a state of tidiness. When DW found out, her eyes rolled so far back into her head, I thought they'd go full circle and come up form the bottom....... And she immediately let me know I should NEVER expect that from her. (And she's kept her word!)

I kept MIL's efforts in mind when I was part of the team picking out her NH! She's transitioned from private-pay to Medicaid a few months ago and I monitored that closely too. Ya gotta take care of the people that took care of you!
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:42 AM   #75
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DH does almost all the ironing--he actually loves it, but I don't think he's ever pressed his tighty whities. Shoveling snow (eek, it's coming) is also something he likes doing--go figure. I actually enjoy the rest of the laundry duties and mowing the lawn with a gas push mower so those are on my chore list. As long as we can handle these chores and enjoy them, we're in. Raking leaves got moved to the "don't enjoy" list last year, so that, like housecleaning, is outsourced now.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:48 AM   #76
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Cleaning Service/Maids

No judging here. To each their own. Keeping the house clean, home maintained and lawns mowed and weed free doesn't take that much time. I still have lots of time to play and read now that I'm retired. I typically have music on for enjoyment. And, it's good exercise 😉
DH and I will revisit tasks as we age.


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Old 11-05-2015, 12:05 PM   #77
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I can tell you first hand that ironing is a PITA!
At the risk of telling one house cleaning - laundry story too many..........

Back in the day (1960's), I was attending college in a small town in far southern Indiana. In those days, the style was Gant shirts which required ironing. I found out from guys in the dorm that an elderly woman in town would iron shirts for a dime each, you provide the spray starch. Mind you, this was the late 60's and a dime was worth something. Still, seemed like a real bargain. Of course you had to pass a front porch interview with her so she could be sure you were a "nice boy" that she would enjoy seeing again and again over your college career.

So, I'd go to the coin laundry in town every week or two and do my laundry and drop the shirts off at her house on the way home. The next day, they were all perfectly done on hangers. If you left a little tip, say gave her a buck for doing 7 or 8 shirts, she'd start inviting you to join her on the front porch of her white, ginger bread house for sweet tea and home made cookies............ and interesting stories about life growing up in rural southern Indiana. It was quite an experience for me, a product of the Chicago Public Schools.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:15 PM   #78
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No judging here. To each their own.
+1
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:35 PM   #79
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When I was a child, one of my least favorite regular chores after school was to do all the ironing. I was required to iron the underwear for my parents and my two big brothers (plus all their clothing, the sheets and pillowcases, and even the towels). :

Me too. I admit I got off easier than you. Only tee shirts and handkerchiefs for my parents but the household flat pieces were mine (sheets, pillowcases, tea towels, etc) I do miss not having those nice crisp and smooth sheets, but no more ironing for me either.


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Old 11-05-2015, 12:36 PM   #80
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Personally, I have a real issue with paying someone to do anything that I can do myself.... but we do have a cleaning lady. My wife pays her $100 every two weeks (she's there usually 4 hours) and is just thrilled and glowy about how nice the house looks and smells for the 20 minutes (every 2 weeks) after she leaves and before the dog fur begins to accumulate in the corners again.

We used to have some pretty heated arguments about this, but I have to accept that she works too, makes even a bit more than me, and is entitled to spend some money on things that make her happy.

I will retire in 15 months and she 3-4 years beyond that, and the cleaning lady is just one reason it is that way.

And when I retire, I will be happy to be paid $25/hr to dust and vacuum for 4 hours every two weeks....
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