We tend to think about money in terms of dollars, but your time should have a dollar amount attached to it as well. Cleaning your house takes time. At what point is it cheaper to hire someone to clean your house so you can spend that time doing other things? Or, perhaps you don’t enjoy cleaning and would rather spend that time doing something more enjoyable. A cleaning service may seem expensive at first glance. Ask yourself these six questions to determine if hiring someone to clean your house is worth the money.
Things to Consider Before You Hire A Cleaning Service
- How big is your apartment / condo / house?
- Do you rent or own?
- Do you have roommates / live with a significant other?
- How much do you value your time?
- How often does your house need to be cleaned?
- Can you afford to hire a cleaning service?
Size of Your Living Space
Consider how big your living space is. When I lived in my one bedroom condo I had a small kitchen, small living room, small bedroom and small bathroom, all hardwood floors. Since it was a small space with little furniture it was very manageable to clean quickly and wasn’t worth paying someone to come for less than 20 min of work. When I lived in a 5 bedroom house with 4 roommates, large dining room, large kitchen, etc the space absolutely would have made it worth it; however, since we all had recently graduated we felt it was a luxury we couldn’t afford.
Do You Rent or Own Your House?
When you rent it doesn’t matter as much if things stay in perfect condition, but when you own you want your home to stay nice. Plus, when you rent you tend to move around more frequently and in between tenants a rental will usually get a deep clean. When you own and you’ve lived in the same house for 5 years it’s up to you to plan the deep cleans.
How Many People And Pets Do You Live With?
Things tend to get less dirty when you live alone. Additionally, when you live with a significant other or with roommates you need to figure out who is responsible for cleaning what, how often, etc. If it’s going to disproportionally fall on one person for whatever reason (there is always one person that’s cleaner than the other, one person has more time, one person hates cleaning more than the other, etc) sometimes the solution is to hire someone to do it for you.
What Is The Dollar Value of Your Free Time?
When I was right out of college, the issue was money. But, as I grew in my career I had more money but way less time. While I work in business, I usually log back online at night for work and also work on the weekends. My free time is far more valuable today than it used to be as there is far less of it.
When our cleaners come, 3 people spend a little over an hour cleaning our house. It ends up being about $40 per person per hour and they do a great job. If I had to do it, if I focused and cleaned non-stop it would take me at least 4 hours to do the job they do, probably more. Consider, how often do you have this much time available? What would you have to give up to clean yourself / what would you do with that time if you hired someone to do it for you? Or, maybe you’re like me and you hate cleaning so it looks more like 30 minutes, break, 30 minutes, another break, and it never really gets done.
How Often Does Your House Need To Be Cleaned?
Do you have kids or pets? Bad allergies? Bad winter tracking a bunch of salt in? It really depends on how dirty your house gets and also your tolerance for a little dirt. When living with roommates it was clear that “clean” had different meanings to different people. Sometimes cleaners charge a bit more if they come less frequently but the longer you go in between the cheaper it does end up being overall.
Can You Afford A Cleaning Service?
It’s not just about money, but also time. If you are spending more than you earn every month you should look at where else you can cut back before you consider spending more money. But, if money is tight and you’d be using this time instead to grow your own business or are working hard to get that next job / promotion / extra income it may be worth it. If you can afford it, it’s really just down to personal preference. There are also opportunities to look for deals such as on Groupon or see if your neighbors want to join in and ask for a neighborhood discount. At the end of the day $1 is $1 and you always have the choice of where you want to spend, save or invest that $1.