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Hire a maid?

April 15th, 2006, 01:14 PM
Anyone ever hired a maid service? What services do they do?

I have bad allergies (dust), and I want to get a COMPLETE once over of my apartment done, and then after that is done, I am going to steam clean all the carpets, the futon, and the couch. My doc says I am not supposed to clean (but I do anyway) but I have been feeling so crappy lately, I don't think I can do it this time. I spent two days on strong allergy meds to go to a friends who has cats (a few hours each day) and I was so sick for almost 2 weeks after.

If I were to organize and put everything away, will they come clean the windows, walls, floors, dust, etc?

April 15th, 2006, 06:26 PM
I looked into a cleaning service as well, for my town house, (three levels, three bed rooms, three bathrooms) it would have cost 100.00$ a visit. The problem is, when they come to do the cleaning, they didn't want the dog to be there. So I didn't hire them, I took the money and hired a dogwalker instead.

April 15th, 2006, 07:10 PM
When friends of mine had a baby, I bought them a gift certificate for Molly Maid....they said it was one of the best gifts they got - they loved the extra help (Dad was only off 2 wks, so they were able to spend time adjusting, sleeping, and taking care of the baby, rather than cleaning.....)

Essentially, you purchase 'time' - they used theirs for doing vacuuming, bathrooms, stoves, etc - think it was $60-$80/hr (it was a couple of yrs ago:confused: )....but they do all of the 'spring cleaning' type of chores, too...


April 15th, 2006, 10:26 PM
I've had 4 different services, and/or individuals through the years. There is a good range of prices and services. Ask around, is my best advice. Talk to people who are happy with their housekeeper or cleaning service.

I had one that worked as a team, 3-4 people a visit. The price was reasonable but they would send only one person who spoke english, and not always very well. The others spoke only polish which I do not. They did a good job but the language barrier was a problem. They once did a really good cleaning and moved furniture. They tore up some cardboard boxes I had under my bed, but they were the boxes for my daughter's Madame Alexander doll collection. (She was displaying a few of them at the time and I was saving the boxes. The loss of those reduced the value of the dolls.) They also used a tablecloth I had left on the floor (on the way to the laundry room) to wash some window screens. So you have to be very careful about what you leave lying around--and very specici. Another time I found a toilet brush in my kitchen sink. EWWWW !!! I told them that they were to use only MY toilet brush--never one that they had used in another house, and NEVER EVER wash it in the kitchen sink !!

They were a reasonable price and cleaned really well but I didn't keep them long.

Then I found a service that came out and catalogued my home with me. I loved that!! The owner came and took notes in every room. The woman assigned to my home was a doll and cleaned until the place looked spotless. Floors were done hands and knees, they brought their own cleaning supplies and rags. It was like the animated cartoons where you see a shine on the floors--that sort of thing. They were great. But very expensive. Then my person moved and while they were finding a replacement the owner became ill and closed the business.

Then I had woman who worked quickly, was sweet as pie, very friendly but not at all chatty. She wouldn't take a cup of tea when I offered or stand and chat for very long at all. She was from Russia and the language barrier made it less comfortable for her to visit I think, but also she wanted to finish her day and get home before her boys. She was very kind to my children. She cleaned floors and basebords well but when she dusted she took off knick knacks and picture frames, dusted the furniture and put the chatchkes back without dusting them. Go figure.

After that I had another woman who was very reasonable. She also dusted the chatchkes, but didn't do a very good job on the sinks. Weird right? But she would fold laundry if she heard my dryer go off, and if she saw me changing sheets she would get upset and tell me that I should just put them out and let her do it. I never did though, because she wasn't being paid to do that, and I felt that would have been taking advantage. But she would tidy up every chance she got. She would chat though. Oy vay !! Once she said to me "Sit down !!" as though I had just stopped by to see her. And we sat and talked for an hour. As nice as that sounds it was a little inconvenient because I wanted to use the time she was there to work in the office.

And for the record--I am not a wealthy, diva type housewife. There were seasons in our lives where circumstances made it better to have that job done by someone else. Some people spend money on fast food, or convenience food, or expensive hobbies, or whatever, and I have always been able to make great meals on a budget, not drive expensive cars etc. Everyone has different priorities and no one is right or wrong. When our families needed us during times of crisis having a service was a wonderful thing. And when I had cancer I was not going to spend my energy dusting when I could use that energy to do something with or for my children.

Now we are blessed to be having a rather peaceful time of things. Everyone is well, thank God, and I have more than enough time and energy to take care of my home. And financially, with two kids in college and a business that was started just last year I would be an idiot to pay someone to do this, at this point in my life. But I'm glad I did it when I did.

It's your money, and your life. If you choose to hire someone for this don't apologize for it. You have good reasons and even if you didn't--it's your choice.

April 16th, 2006, 12:28 AM
Go for it! We're probably hiring somebody to mow our TINY lawn because we're both so allergic and fight over who reacts worse to the grass... No need to suffer if you don't have to.:thumbs up

April 16th, 2006, 01:16 AM
I've hired from an online service where 2 people came with their supplies and worked systematically but it was too expensive, so I hired an individual through craigslist who charged a little bit less, but the problem was I could never get them to do a meticulous job of dusting, (They would never dust the bookshelves (in front of the books) or tops of the CDs/DVDs where all the dust gathered)
I had to let them go because they couldn't do it better than I can.

It's just a matter of laying out what's important to you like joeysmama said. You gotto go over one by one on the first day and remind them.

April 16th, 2006, 01:17 AM
On another note.. Do you tip your maids of gardeners on top of the service fees?? If you do, how much then?

April 16th, 2006, 03:43 AM
There's a series of articles by Jan Wong in the current Globe and Mail which anyone who is thinking of hiring a maid service should read. Not to change your mnd, I think it's an excellent idea. Housework is highly overrated, IMHO.

April 16th, 2006, 07:43 AM
I heartily agree with badger. Housework is overrated. My kids are home this weekend and in the grocery store with my daughter she picked up the paper towels and said "Go long!" because when they were little I would joke with them and make up songs and pretend we were playing football while we shopped to make it a game (provided there was NO ONE else in the aisle--we weren't rude) And I would let them take their time choosing from the penny candy bins.

And then we were doing laundry and she said "Remember when the laundry used to attack you?" because I would pretend that the towels came alive and I would have to fight them off. (Corny I know:p ) but I would wrestle the laundry into the dryer. I had forgotten all about it, but she remembered me entertaining them while I worked.

They never say things like "Remember how our bathroom mirrors were streak free ??"

April 16th, 2006, 08:58 AM
I've hired a maid service in the past. It was $50/hour for two people to come into your home to clean. I had them come in once a week to do my bathrooms & floors, and they usually had some time left over so they did my kitchen counters and some dusting. It's amazing how efficient they are! It would have taken me all week-end to do what they did in an hour. They didn't mind having the dog around, either. You definitely have to interview them to find out these important answers. :D