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A few weeks ago, I felt like I might have a nervous breakdown. We were getting ready to leave for our frugal trip to St. Maarten, and I was totally buried in work and struggling to get ahead. And around the same time, Greg’s work got hammered so he spent a few weeks putting in overtime instead of helping at home.
The laundry was piling up. The dishwasher was full again. We were almost out of food and I desperately needed to get to the grocery store to stock up.
Even worse, my house wasn’t all that clean – nothing gross mind you, but it needed some serious help. The floors needed to be mopped. The bathrooms needed a healthy dose of Scrubbing Bubbles. The baseboards and blinds needed a good dusting, and the sticky fingerprints all over my kitchen needed to disappear.
So one night, I tore my house apart and cleaned until 11:00 p.m. My husband came home late from work to find me crying and immediately asked what was wrong.
I told him that I was overwhelmed, but he already knew that.
“We need to hire someone to clean this house,” he said. “It makes no sense for you to do it anymore.”
But I’m Wonder Woman and I Can Do Anything
Of course, my initial reaction was to tell him that I could clean the house. And as a matter of fact, I just had. I used to clean houses for a living in my early 20’s after all, and I’m actually really good at it.
It also seems crazy to me to hire out something that I can do myself. I mean, I have to hire someone to fix my furnace. Why? Because I don’t know how. And I have to hire someone to change the oil in my car. Why? Because there is no way in hell I’m getting under there.
But my house? I can clean this house like a boss. So I told my husband to buzz off.
My Husband Hired a Cleaning Lady
But my husband had other ideas. He reached out to a few people and found a nice lady nearby that would be willing to come clean our house on a bi-weekly basis. He acted as a lone wolf and set the entire thing up himself. He didn’t even ask permission or make sure I approved!
Our new cleaning lady showed up for the first time this past Thursday morning. She got started promptly at 9:00 a.m. and worked until about 1:00 p.m. The entire time she cleaned, I sat in my living room and worked like I normally would. But when she left, an amazing calm fell over me. For a total of $80.00, she did amazing things, including:
- cleaning all of my baseboards
- dusting every mini-blind in the house
- mopping, sweeping, and dusting
- cleaning the bathrooms
- cleaning exposed interior windows
And when she left, my house looked like this:
Do you see that? She cleaned off the top of my washer and dryer for heaven’s sake! And aside from the fact that my refrigerator has a quadrillion colored pictures on it, my kitchen looks like new!
What Happened When I Paid Someone to Clean My House
In exchange for $80, I got a squeaky clean house. And after some urging from my husband, I agreed to let the cleaning continue for the time being. The only thing I disagreed with him about is how often she should come. Twice a month seems like too much to me, so I offered to pay her a little more ($100) to come and deep clean just once per month.
While I’m usually opposed to outsourcing, I also realize now that it can make sense- even if it makes me uncomfortable. The time she spent will not only free up time that I can spend working, but can also help me focus on other things that matter, such as spending time with my family.
So yeah, I totally paid someone to clean my house…and liked it! I’m not sure if we will do it forever, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. I don’t like outsourcing, but I think it’s time for me to admit that I can’t be great at everything 100 percent of the time. There are only 24 hours in a day, and I am better off spending that time working or enjoying quality time with the people I love.
Do you outsource any undesirable tasks? Do you think the trade-off is worth it?