Networx

Posted by Steve Graham | Jul 29, 2011

Who hires house cleaners? It might surprise you.

Interviews with a professional cleaning service and a number of homeowners revealed that younger, working people are hiring cleaning services, despite a stigma that it is only for the rich.

raflowers/stock.xchngVictoria Malley’s clientele are getting younger. She cleans the  homes of younger families as they become ever busier and decide they can no longer keep up with the housekeeping on their own.

Malley is half of the sister team that runs American Maid Sisters in Kennesaw, Georgia. While her previous clientele were mostly older, retired couples who could afford some extra expenses and didn’t  want to spend their golden years scrubbing the toilet, now, however, more busy, working families are hiring cleaning services.

“What we are starting to see now is that half of our clients are mid-30’s to 50,” Malley said in an email interview. “It seems that the change is mostly due to both adults in the family having to work, and some where the adults are working and going back to school while raising a family.”

Hiring a regular cleaning service can free up a few extra hours each week or month to spend time with loved ones, do a bit of work or just get some much-needed sleep. In addition, Malley says that hiring a cleaning service is simply a stress reliever.

“After you work all day it is always nice to come home to a freshly cleaned home,” Malley says. “It makes it so much easier to relax and enjoy what little free time we have in the evenings without thinking about the floors.”

Still, there are other considerations in hiring a cleaning service (or not)   – including financial, social and personal factors.

Budgeting a housecleaner

The cost of housecleaning services varies widely by region and individual. MSN Money estimates that a basic weekly housecleaning service should cost $30 to $70.

For some people, that is simply out of their reach. For many others, however, budgeting a housecleaning service is merely a question of priorities. It may mean choosing to forego a restaurant meal, upgraded cable package or a few coffee-outings.

There are also ways to scale down the cost of cleaning services. Malley says some of her clients with lower incomes only get monthly cleaning, or have her company “just do certain cleaning items that just take too much time for them.”

Justifying a housecleaner 

For some, the money is less of an issue than are perceived social stigmas regarding house cleaning. It was difficult to find homeowners willing to be interviewed for this story, as many are reluctant to talk about the complex social issues involved.

Many feel pressure to “do it all,” meaning they feel like failures if they admit they need  help with housework (or any other facet of their lives). Others are concerned about seeming elitist or of demeaning others by hiring them to scrub their toilets.

Settling for a housecleaner

Among the few individuals who responded to our interview requests, some say they don’t use a house cleaner because their standards are too high. One woman says she does all her own housework because she is “too obsessive-compulsive to let someone else do it.”

Another says she can’t afford a cleaning service, but also admits that she would probably end up cleaning the house herself before the cleaners arrived.

Of course, there is one alternative cleaning service that one man confessed to using: “I just have my girlfriend clean.”

Steve Graham is a Hometalk - http://www.hometalk.com - writer. Read more articles like this one - http://www.networx.com/article/who-hires-house-cleaners-it-might-surp - or get help with your home project on Hometalk.com.

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