Today is my favorite day, it’s house cleaner day! Similar to Christmas, but the gift is a clean home. Like the living room on Christmas morning, it’s a mess again before you know it, but it’s great while it lasts!
Years ago, when her personal training business was first becoming successful, my friend Sara shared an anecdote from one of her very successful female clients: once you make a certain amount of money, you should never clean your own home. She told me to divide my salary and figure out my hourly pay rate. If it takes me four hours to clean my house and I can get someone to do it for less than I would pay myself, then I should hire someone immediately. At the time I lived in a small apartment, with only a cat, though Chase stayed over sometimes. Despite the fact I could pay someone less than my hourly rate to clean for me, I couldn’t justify the expense, and, well, I didn’t mind cleaning.
Fast forward about seven years. The cat went to live with my mom (sorry, Nemo, but she loves you and you weren’t a fan of the kiddos). Now I have two kids and a husband, and I value my time and money differently. I have two full days at home with my family. I don’t want to spend half a day scrubbing toilets or dusting blinds. So, in came the house cleaner. I got a recommendation from a close friend (who has three kids and a dog) and she started the following week.
Some people are fortunate enough to have their house cleaner come every week. If I won the lottery that would be the first thing I’d do. Before college funds or paying off our mortgage, I would set up her weekly visits. But my budget only allows for her to come every three weeks. I have to pick up and do basic cleaning in between her visits, but she takes care of the time-consuming deep cleaning. My kids are getting pretty good (knock on wood) at putting away their toys. I will admit that I am one of those crazy moms who picks up before the cleaning lady comes, but only because she’ll put items in strange places, and panic can ensue if a certain sheep or sea turtle stuffed animal goes missing and isn’t found by bedtime. Or she puts Chase’s beer mugs in with our regular glasses, and he has to drink Coors Light in a plastic kids’ cup because he can’t find a proper glass!
I know I’m a neat freak, so my excitement upon returning home on cleaning day is probably a bit much. I make the kids take off their shoes and we go out to eat that night so we don’t mess up the kitchen. And it only lasts, at best, a few hours. But for a short time, my wood floors are shiny (no little footprints!), my bathroom counters are a stark white again (no makeup spills!) and the smell of cleaning supplies is in the air (which reminds me I should probably switch to green cleaning supplies, do they have those on soap.com?)
Best of all, I can relax and enjoy it playing on the floor with my kids, rather than being down there scrubbing it. $80 well spent!