THE BURDEN OF KEEPING A CLEAN HOME, CLEANING SERVICE OR DIY?
Nobody else knows the intricacies of your cleaning process
Is there anybody that’s going to listen to my story? All about the dirt that came to stay? It’s the kind of dirt you hate so much it makes you sorry, still you ignore it anyway. Oh, dirt. Dirt, grime, mold, rust, dust, and crud. All considered “4 letter words” to us average keepers of the home (with the exception of “grime” because that’s 5 letters …). None-the-less, they are all curse words! The very things that keep you from relaxing and fully enjoying your home, plain and simple.
I’ve recently been considering using home cleaning service for a portion of my “Housely” duties because I am overwhelmed, and I’m sure many others are as well. If you are the main keeper of your home, you know that “Cleaning” goes far beyond dishes and trash can responsibilities. Appliances, laundry, floors, countertops, toilets, tubs, windows, and that’s just on Tuesdays! Then for us parents there’s the additional bonuses of cleaning of toys, diaper genies, and the never ending loads of sheets and onesies, etc.
When I think about a cleaning lady for some of my cleaning responsibilities, initially all I can think about are the benefits. More time with family, less need for cleaning products in my house, the knowledge that it’s being professionally done, and the fact that I don’t have to do it!
Envision with me for a moment, dream if you will, of waking up to a 100% clean house. You don’t have to do a single thing. Not. One. Thing. You don’t have to dig around for clean socks to protect your feet from filth, there is nothing in the dirty clothes bin, your bathrooms smell of lavender, the air purifiers dare to quit altogether for lack of challenging work, and the stove is sparkling even more than it was on the sales floor the day you bought it. Complete perfection. No trying to fit hardwood floor shining into your schedule, or dusting the various frames that hang and sit within your home. Just sitting back on a recently lint rolled sofa, feet up, with your desired K-cup brewing in the background.
Beautiful vision, isn’t it? But alas, anything too good to be true often is. What you (and I) are omitting from this daydream, is the price tag attached. I don’t mean just the monetary price tag, (though that it the main factor in my personal decision making), I mean the emotional price tag. There is no one person who can clean every single portion of your home the exact way you would want it done. It’s just not possible.
Even the best housekeeper or cleaning company, no matter how reputable and fantastic, cannot be you. There is an investment in the work they do, obviously, because they are getting paid and their work is a reflection of themselves; but ultimately, nobody can love and care for your home like you do.
Nobody else knows the intricacies of your cleaning process. They don’t know to check under and in the sofas before starting the laundry because that’s where your youngest child puts his dirty underwear. They don’t realize the need to sweep your husband’s office for dirty cups because he rarely puts them in the dishwasher. These are things that can definitely be taught, but at some point, you might just feel as though it would be easier to do-it-yourself, rather than pay to teach somebody else.
There are certain parts of my home that I personally want to see to cleaning, however, managing all of it can be a bit much
The idea of having a stranger (cleaning maid) in your home might also be a little off-putting when thinking about hiring out for cleaning and organizing your home. So like many of you, my current choice has been to 100% clean my home myself, and I’ll admit, there are even some days that I like cleaning! I look forward to a good deep clean of my house. It can be therapeutic and it makes me feel proud to look at a room that I worked to stock with furniture, all clean and sparkly ready for enjoyment.
I find that there are many benefits to DIY home cleaning. One of the biggest and most obvious ones is cost. You will absolutely save money by cleaning your home yourself, it will get done the way you want it to, you’ll know where everything is, and you can trust that everything was taken care of as it should be. However, though the cost for DIY home cleaning is significantly less than outsourcing all of it, you have to consider the man hours you will be putting in. It will cost you hours of time every week or even every day that you could be spending on something you find more valuable to you. While there are many benefits to cleaning your home yourself, some days you just may not feel like therapeutic toilet scrubbing, or putting on your “Expert grease cleaner” hat.
Just like with everything in life, there needs to be balance. While I choose to take care of the majority of homes cleaning on my own, I have recently begun to explore some minor outsourcing options. Having a company or individual come and do a major deep clean once a month, sending a few loads in for dry cleaning, taking the pets into the groomer, or hiring somebody to clean specific high traffic rooms once a week (like the living room, or bathrooms), would help lighten the load tremendously. There are certain parts of my home that I personally want to see to cleaning, however, managing all of it can be a bit much.
Making sure that every family member is doing what they can to help share the burden is also very important. Start a chore chart for the little ones, or ask your spouse or partner to thrown in a load of laundry once in a while. Simple things can be a big help (like maybe your youngest child could start putting their dirty undies in the hamper, instead of the couch).
In all seriousness, keeping your home clean is a big job. You’re not only trying to keep your home comfortable and livable, but you are trying to keep it safe and healthy for your family and visitors. Whatever method you use for cleaning your home (DIY or outsourcing) high-five yourself for getting it done, and remember to enjoy the life you live in your home.
— Shelby Ballew