DH, who is also in residency, spends his free time playing on the computer. States he doesn't have the energy to help clean the disaster area that is our house because he's "been working all week". I, who am also in residency, leave for work at least 1 hour before he does & get home at least 1 hour after he does. Yet I spent all day Saturday cleaning (house is still icky) rather than studying, which is what I should be doing. To save marriage & sanity, I am considering hiring a cleaning service. I would appreciate hearing from someone who uses such a service. Is it better to hire a service or a person? How to you find someone you can trust? What is a reasonable price to pay?
I have used cleaning services and am currently using a woman who is in the process of starting her own cleaning service. I didn't want to hire someone directly because of all the insurances issues, ie who is responsible if the cleaning person falls down your stairs and breaks a leg, or if she/he accidentely breaks some of your stuff. Cleaning services usually take care of all that stuff and send a replacement if the person can't make it in for some reason.
I have had some issues with the quality of their work, but with the last cleaning service I used you could call and request someone else and they would even send someone out to redo the job if you weren't satisfied. The woman I have now who is atarting her own business, does an outstanding job. I would ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors as well. The price is usually based on the size of your house and how often you have them come. In my case I think every cent I pay them is worth not having to spend my weekends cleaning.
I have had several varieties of cleaning people. The price depends on the size of your space and how often they come usually, and where you live. Living in MN and PA with houses in the 1500+ sg ft range, we have paid around $70-90 per visit. They generally supply their own cleaning stuff, but our current lady uses our vacuum cleaner because we have inherited oriental rugs that can't stand up to her high power one.
How often is up to you - if you have pets or kids, every other week I would suggest. If neither, than every 3 weeks - 1 month, and you can do a little touch up vacuuming or whatever in the bathroom in the meantime and it makes it a much smaller job.
Based on personal experience, I would get a "person" rather than a service. Services tend not to be as thorough and be more on a time schedule and have more clients per day, etc. Also, I find it harder to work with them on finer points of how you want things done.
I found a person by asking EVERYONE that I knew lived in the area for a while until a woman that I rode the train with's mother had a lady for years, and I called her and she was full but her sister was open...you get the idea. Ask around a lot, talk to people, and then have them come clean 2-3 times before you make up your mind (unless it is really terrible the first time). And don't be scared off - the first time the woman who does our house now came, she accidentally ripped one of our couch cushions with her vacuum trying to get the cat hair off the back of the couch. She was mortified and left a note and offered to pay for it, and she did such a wondeful job on everything else...she still cleans for us. She brings another lady along to help now as well.
Also- make sure they will do what need/want. Our current lady does tons more than our last people, including laundry, putting away baby laundry, changing sheets, crib sheets, loading the dishwasher, and has recently agreed to clean the catbox as well. She is amazing and we got her part way through my first year of med school. It is the only way I can do well in school, still get some family time, play with my toddler and has taken our stress levels down dramatically. She comes every 2 weeks when things are calm-ish, and every week most of the year. Is this expensive? Yes. Is it worth it to us? Yes. I always say that when we first got married, the dishwasher we installed kept us from divorcing and now I believe the same thing about this wonderful lady.
I am a true believer in cleaning ladies. My mom has always had somebody, even when they were too poor to afford anything else.