Who Hires House Cleaners? It Might Surprise You

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Jul 29, 2011 | Steve Graham

raflowers/stock.xchngVictoria Malley’s clientele are getting younger. She cleans the homes of many young 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 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 for spending time with loved ones, catching up on work, or just getting some much-needed sleep. In addition, Malley says that hiring a cleaning service is a stress reliever.

“After you work all day, it is always nice to come home to a freshly cleaned home,” Malley explains. “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. Basic two-hour service by a professional cleaner is likely to cost $50 or more.

For some homeowners, that is simply out of reach. For many others, however, budgeting a housecleaning service is merely a question of priorities. It may mean choosing to forego a restaurant meal, an 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 cleaning once a month, or have her company “just do certain cleaning items that just take too much time for them.”

Justifying a housecleaner 

Some people consider the money less of an issue than 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 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 housecleaner because their standards are too high. One woman states that she does all her own housework because she is “too obsessive-compulsive to let someone else do it.”

Another claims 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.”

If you'd like to have your home professionally cleaned -- whatever your reasons -- hire a screened, reliable cleaner.

Updated January 11, 2018.

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