I firmly believe that everyone should clean up after themselves — with some caveats. Toddlers? Sometimes the best they can do is get out of the way. And if you're past a certain age, you've earned a break. My three sons, aged 18, 15, and 10, on the other hand, are fully capable of doing housework. And, for most of the week, we all do what we should.
But on Monday morning, after we leave for work and school, something magical happens: Our house cleaner, Melissa, comes in for a few hours to clean the house. It's not inexpensive, because it's important to me to pay what I would accept to do the same job, but coming home to a sparkling house on Monday night is worth every penny. Here's why.
6 Reasons Paying a House Cleaner Is Totally Worth It
1. A house cleaner forces us to keep it together.
We don't have a housekeeper, someone who does it all, right down to folding and putting away all the socks. As lovely as it sounds, paying someone to take care of us full-time is out of our price range for sure.
What we do pay for is cleaning the tough stuff. And that means that the night before Melissa comes, the house has to be tidy, with everything in its place, so nothing stands in the way of things that need a good cleaning.
If she wasn't coming, who knows how messy it would get? Me! I do! It would get very, very messy.
2. It's easier to get the family involved.
I have three sons, one husband, and a dog in the house, and, without Melissa, it's highly likely that most of the cleaning or the nagging would fall to me. Melissa makes it easier for us to share responsibility equally. I still have to nag a little, but I'm just asking people to clean up after themselves, and it's hard to argue with that. (And before you jump on my kids: They're actually good about cleaning, but they're kids, and they don't like doing it any more than the rest of us do, so I have to nag. The husband, on the other hand, you may feel free to shame a little bit.)
3. I get to spend more time on household tasks I enjoy, like cooking and ironing. Yes, ironing.
Cooking is more fun than mopping, ironing is more fun than making a bed, and organizing a cabinet is more fun than vacuuming — at least for me. Paying Melissa to do the things I enjoy least makes the time I spend doing the other things more pleasant. (And, yes, I do like to iron. Or at least I don't hate it. I usually watch a movie or catch up on my Real Housewives, who incidentally never iron, while ironing on a Friday night. I'm fun!)
4. We don't have to make decisions about cleaning supplies.
I never know what to get in the cleaning aisle. Well, that's not totally true. I reach for the brands my parents used, like Pledge, Windex, Bon Ami, and Soft Scrub. But then I worry that I should buy more natural versions. But then they don't work. And I learn that some of those old-school brands are pretty close to the all-natural ones. Or I buy some tile cleaner, but it runs out and I forget to replace it until the toilet overflows and we need it right that second.
Melissa brings all her own supplies, they seem to work well, and they smell fine. Although we obviously keep cleaning supplies for the days in between, they don't run out very quickly and I'm rarely left without. Hooray!
5. Monday feels like a fresh start.
Before Melissa, Alice cleaned our house. She came on Wednesdays, because a mid-week clean seemed like a nice idea and my parents had a house cleaner on Wednesdays.
But Monday is so much better! Coming home to a clean house and cooking something I love, then sitting around the table talking about the week ahead makes me happy. It feels like an extension of a relaxing weekend. No matter what happened last week, no matter how busy the weekend was, Monday is a new day. Coming home to a little sparkle and a fresh smell and sitting down at a clean table helps me look forward to the rest of the week.
6. We really appreciate what we have.
I know, I know — but stick with me. There are times when Melissa can't make it; either she's sick, or on vacation, or doing any of the other things that make us miss work every now and then. In her absence, our home is a lot harder to maintain, and we know it. I've spent a lot of time talking to the kids about how lucky we are to be able to pay someone to clean, and how important it is to pay fairly. It's a hard job, one worth paying for.
Have you ever hired a house cleaner? Would you? What are your favorite jobs and which ones do you dread?