I have a secret to tell you: I called a Maid Service today. EEK.

Part of it is Linda’s fault. Ever since she wrote that amazing entry (which I can’t find now, I’m sorry. I have no concept of blog time and how long ago she wrote it.) about how clean her house was after the first time the service came to her home, I have been thinking: “Wow. I have never cleaned an appliance in my life.” I mean – I kinda clean the coffee maker sometimes. And the refrigerator gets cleaned a few times a year. But other than that? Nothing. Other things that I’ve not cleaned in my home: (brace yourself, this is going to get ugly) Bathtubs. Baseboards. Tops of anything taller than me. Picture frames. Blinds. Windows. Windowsills. Etc. Etc. I clean the basics. I vacuum and dust things I can see. I keep the house clean enough to avoid calls from the health department. But I do NOT do anything more.

So – I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone come do the BIG stuff for me?” I mean – if they’ll clean the baseboards, I’ll feel like more was accomplished each time I vacuum. If they clean the tubs, I won’t be ashamed when people come visit. If they clean my blinds – MY BLINDS WILL BE CLEAN. And that – my friends – has never happened before. EVER.

I picked up the phone yesterday, and called them to come over for an estimate. I have NO idea how much I’m willing to pay for this. I know I’m mortified and kinda thought about telling MrZ not to tell his parents. I even asked the lady if they had marked vehicles, “If you do, I may need you to park in the garage. I don’t want my neighbors knowing I called you.” You’d think I was hiding a drug habit and needed my dealer to park down the street, for chrissakes. But still! It’s embarrassing! It’s admitting I can’t do it all by myself AND I DO NOT DO THAT WELL.

Funny thing is? The lady said it wasn’t the first time she was asked that.

So – they’ll be here Tuesday. I’m kinda feeling like I should clean before they get here because I do NOT want to be the one they talk about during their meetings.

“This one lady? Had never EVER cleaned her oven. And didn’t even know how to clean her blinds.”

I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then – do you have an idea how much this might cost? Can you brace me? Do you have a secret relationship with a maid service? How do you hide it?

35 thoughts on “Housekeeping!”

  1. I was able to get a maid for a short time. It was WONDERFUL. They actually charged by the room, so for living room, office, 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms it was $96 every two weeks. I did have them skip the rooms we don’t use often like the guest bedroom, and family room downstairs. I figured I could clean those myself every once in a while, and not have to pay for it.
    It was great, they did a wonderful job. I have never seen my floors shine quite as much since.
    I ended up canceling because we had to take on a new student loan bill. It sucked. But I am hoping to maybe start the service again in a couple months. We used a national service so I’m not sure if they prices will be comparable or not;)

  2. I’ve never had a maid service…I’m not even sure we technically have them around here! After I had Babygirl, though, I did have insurance that paid out for Home Health to have nurses and cleaners come out a certain amount of times. I got about 20 hours of cleaning spaced out in a six week time frame. I got to choose what I wanted them to do, which included washing the floor, doing the bathroom, laundry, cleaning the fridge, ect. They would even run errands! I had her mopping my floors (they even picked up the chairs!), cleaning the fridge and the bathroom sparkled!

    Yeah, if we had it around here and I could afford it, I’d totally do it!

  3. When we still lived with our old (Severely DIRTY) roommate, I called and got an estimate. The woman came out, and estimated around $90. Our old house was REALLY big, and had a lot of wood floors. Hope that helps!

  4. Since my husband started paying someone to do our yard, I’ve been toying with the idea of a cleaning service for my house, too (’cause if he can delegate his duties, then …) I’m not sure how much an initial cleaning costs, but my friend pays someone $40 to come every other week. That’s for one woman to come in, not for a multiple-person service. Let us know how it goes. Oh, and my in-laws give my husband a hard time about someone else doing the lawn — ha!

  5. Zoot,
    Get a cleaning service!!!! I think it is silly that people feel they have to be ashamed if they have a cleaning person. You and Mr.Z. both work full time, you have a teenager and a baby, you run out of time but not out things that need to be cleaned! Cleaning is not a fun thing, and on the weekends you should get to do fun things with your kids.
    So I think you should be proud to have the cleaning company park in front of your house: “I value time with my family, so I choose to have someone else clean my house!”

  6. My mom has a local Amish girl that comes and cleans every other week. I think she charges like $8/hour. She even takes up the rugs on the hardwood floors and shakes them outside.

    My great-grandmother used to clean before Esther, her cleaning lady, came. Esther was like part of the family and I don’t think my great-grandmother wanted her to feel like a cleaning lady.

  7. I’m contemplating the same thing, esp since Fairly Odd Father is planning to start his MBA classes soon and the vast majority of house, kids, etc will fall on my shoulders (wait, aren’t they already???).

    When I was single, lived in a tiny place but worked 80+hrs/week, I had a cleaning lady. It was AWESOME but now makes me laugh at how indulgent it seems—I mean, how dirty can one single girl get her house when she’s never home?

    You will love it. If their quote scares you, get a second quote. Services can vary wildly. But, do they clean ovens? If they do, send ’em my way!

  8. I just had my first cleaning lady come about a month ago. I found her threw my neighbor. She came for 6 hours and I paid $80. She clean 3 bathrooms, vacuumed the whole house (2100 sq.ft) baseboards,stairs, blinds, fans (4), kitchen floor, dusting, cleaned all my pictures frames, glass and kitchen counters. It was AWESOME to have such a clean house. It was money well spent.

  9. My fiance and his old roommates had a maid – she charged like $80 each time and came once every two weeks. They were filthy boys (with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a huge living room/kitchen), so the house wasn’t completely sparkling when she left…. I find it’s easiest to communicate with them exactly what you want them to do to make you happy (less guesswork for them!) – my friend’s maid would organize all the crap in his desk when he really just wanted them to clean his bathroom. But I think you’re probably looking at between 80 and 100 though.

  10. FYI… the “chain” maid services, like Merry Maids, will cost you an arm and a leg. Very expensive, and not all that great.

    I’ve found the best prices and service from those who start up their own small cleaning companies. You can find them in your local community paper. Just my advice, after checking out more than a few maids! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. oh i’d love to have someone come do the big stuff and give me a new starting point for super clean! send her to me next? please?

  12. Oh my stars, how I would LOVE to have someone clean my house. It SOOOO needs it to because let’s just say you do a lot more cleaning than I do *shamed look*. Our neighbors have a maid service and their van is unmarked. But we’re friendly with our neighbors and I know that’s who they are and every time I see them parked out in front of their house I feel SO JEALOUS. I swear, if I had the $ I would so call one. It’d make your head spin how fast I called one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. my former neighbors had one at the condo. i was so jealous when i’d hear that vaccuum cleaner roar to life. they had 2 ladies clean the floors and dust the big stuff, do the bathrooms and start the laundry. all for about $100 every couple of weeks (we’re in the northeast).

    i think i’d like a service just every now and then… for the big stuff… and before the holidays… and when my bathroom is scuzzy… and, well, often.

  14. I’m thinking the $8/hour Amish girl might be hard to get in your area. Professional service? Around these here parts, you’re looking at $100 every 2 weeks, but the initial one is way higher. I’ve toyed with going with the big cleaning twice a year or so. If I could just get the slots to pay off more often!

  15. I know someone who worked for MerryMaids for a month. She said that the other girls would use one sponge to clean both the kitchen and the bathroom. They are suppose to use one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. I personally would never use a cleaning service.

  16. I’ve only been able to enjoy the results of maids when I wasn’t paying and someone else set it up for me, so I can’t help you much with an estimate, but I’m sure you will be really happy with the results. It’s so refreshing and wonderful to come home to a spotless house.

    LoL about cleaning your house before they come over. It’s like when I go to get my hair cut and styled, I like to style it a bit myself beforehand so the hairdresser doesn’t think I’m a total slob.

  17. My mom gets her house cleaned twice a month professionally, and they charge her something like $70 a visit. Their house isn’t that big, though. Maybe 1,000-1,500 square feet. Maybe. I’m a terrible judge of these things. But they have 2 cats and a dog and pet hair gets on EVERYTHING.

  18. We pay $80 a visit. It’s a group of women who all come and attack this filthy house (you know – the 3 boys, the sports, the dog, my back surgery– it’s a must!!!). They change all the beds and clean floors, rooms. They don’t do any laundry which leaves me plenty to do!

  19. You must tell us how much it will cost and if it is worth it. I would love to have someone else do the dirty work.

  20. I had a girl come out twice after I had my first daughter (emergency c-section…ugh). My BIG BROTHER paid for it? Doesn’t that rock? I think she charged $50 to $75 and was at our house about 4 hours. She vacuumed, mopped, wiped down baseboards, dusted, etc.

    I also had someone clean our windows when we first bought our house six years ago and that was awesome.

    I agree…don’t use a “chain” service. Ask around.

    My house REALLY really needs a deep cleaning but right now we can’t justify the cost (I have both girls in daycare.) And our blinds are disgusting. Let’s just not go there.

    But I say go for it!

  21. I have a woman come every other week, for $75 she does all of my floors, dusting, kitchen and 2 baths (2 bed, 2 bath condo, ~1700 sq ft.). I love it. I would think that independent people would be cheaper than the chains, and you may find prices lower in your area. I’m in a major city. I’d say have someone do as much as you can afford. It’s worth it to have your time free for your family.

  22. I was very nervous about having someone come in and judge my filth. But after the first time? I got over that. QUICK. It is orgasmic I’m telling you. My picture frames, my storm door — they sparkle. Stuff I’d never waste time cleaning. They change my sheets, empty my trash, Fold laundry… I pay about 100 bucks and they only come once every three weeks. (But I’m in the DC area — fairly expensive here) I second what the person said about a small, independent company — much cheaper than the franchises. I have friends that do pay less — but they wouldn’t do me right like these people. Do it man!

  23. I’m anxious to see what the pricing is like, too, being in the same area and [most likely] comparable sized houses. I’ve always heard the chains are much more expensive, and less likely to do as thorough a job. Keep us updated, if you don’t mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I love my housekeeper (her term – she says a maid is someone who is old and she isn’t old). In my search for her I found the big “maid” service was much more expensive then my lady. I looked in our “free ad” paper (local ad paper for private individuals). Good luck.

  25. OK – you totally need a cleaning service! You need to spend more time with your peeps yo. Besides, it’s not as if you like cleaning right?? I don’t clean before our girl comes, however, I do apologize for the amount of dirty dishes stranded all around the house. I must admit, I’m a much happier person now too. So if I’m happy – everyone is happy! Mozoltov!

  26. I’ve never cleaned my oven, either. Ever. And unfortunately, my cleaning lady doesn’t do appliances. Maybe if I asked her really, really nicely and gave her an extra big tip AND a bottle of wine?! I’ll have to try that next time she’s here ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. When I go back to work full time….I will soooo have a cleaning service! (I would have one now…I HATE to clean…poor Steve)

  28. I tried to leave a comment but it got longer and longer and more and more personal, so I made it an entry on my own blog.
    But, after reading the comments, I guess I’m not too alone, I just feel like it. Especially since I have friends who have perfect Martha Stewart-clean homes.

  29. I totally agree about using a smaller service vs. the large corporate ones. You pay less and get better service.

    Re: a large well-known happy maid service. My cousin worked for them for over a year before she was fired. She’s my own blood but I’d never let her in my house when I’m not home. She often stole things from the houses she cleaned, had her boyfriend meet her at homes to “have fun” and various other things. They warned her numerous times before letting her go. She should’ve been fired after the first offense!

    Also, she barely grooms herself. There is no way she cleaned those houses well.

  30. Also – she would go through the medicine cabinets and steal people’s medication to sell! I still can’t believe we’re related.

  31. Last comment – I promise.

    If you find a person, rather than a company, to clean your house and want to “check them out” let me know.

    I work for a criminal background screening company and can tell you how to get a background check on the person.

  32. Zoot — I’m glad you’re hiring a service — you deserve it! I’m curious, though — does your husband help out around the house at all? It sounds like you do SO MUCH for your family and house…and work full time. Not judging — just hoping he helps out w/laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.

  33. good for you! around here, the services charge around $15 an hour, which is NOT bad at all, considering what all they do. totally worth it!

    but I must say, I cannot believe you’ve never cleaned your stuff! LOL. Don’t they make girls take Home Economics anymore? Oh well.

    anyway, I don’t blame you. be warned, it can cause some ruckus amongst relatives, though. my little sister hired her first ever cleaning service, and it almost gave our mother a fit. i’ve been waiting to see how that turned out before i hire one.

    bc and six very messy cats

  34. FIND a maid not a service. Then the same person comes every week and knows what you want done. The services are so expensive and you get a new team every week. Get a maid not a service.

Leave a Reply