Generally, what can you expect from a housekeeper?

I’m thinking about getting one twice a week.

Do they totally clean the house, or clean around the messes? In other words, will they pick up stuff and put it where it goes, clean the dishes, and make the house look spotless, regardless of how bad it gets? Our house can get pretty bad even in a couple days. Our kids are total slobs and my wife and I aren’t much better.

I’m sure with luck and enough money, you can get anything you want.

In my experience, however, most house cleaners won’t “pick up stuff and put it where it goes.” Nor do they want to deal with kids who are total slobs.

They typically clean off the counters, vacuum the floors, and deal with bathrooms. Maybe they’ll do windows.

If you want them to pick up stuff and do your dishes, make sure that’s clear up front.

You want their time to be spent efficiently. We always “straighten things up” before the housekeeper arrives.

On the other hand, when I lived alone I had a housekeeper who was OCD about her work. She came once a month and spent 8-10 hours working hard. She was atypical, though.

I wouldn’t expect mine to put stuff away. Mine just washes the floors, cleans the bathrooms, dusts and vaccums. (is that spelled right?)

Takes her 1.5 hours, which I pay $30 every two weeks for.

Your mileage may vary.

Our housekeeping service includes doing any dishes that are sitting out and putting them on the draining board to dry. They will not empty the dishwasher and put clean stuff away – presumably too many judgment calls about what goes where. They will pick up toys, papers, or dirty clothes off the floor and try to make a neat stack of them nearby, but they will not put stuff away or start a load of laundry in the washer.

I think you should look for what you want. If you use Merry Maids or a cleaning service, they’re just going to clean. If you look for a housekeeper, they should do what you’re looking for. My last housekeeper did the laundry, put things away, loaded and emptied the dishwasher, and would have cooked. Of course, she also cleaned and I did not have to clean up before she came. If you live near Salem, Oregon, drop me a PM. :smiley:

Not likely – how is a housekeeper supposed to know ‘where it goes’ in your house?

They’ll do what you pay them and they agree to do. My mother is elderly and has someone in once a week to do vacuuming and dusting and clean the bathroom.

If you hire a housecleaning service, then they will have a specific list of chores that they accomplish. Some weekly, some monthly, some quarterly.

If you want someone who will help you organize/pick-up then you probably need to interview a few people. Resist the urge to make everything look nice before they get there, and just show them what you need. If you give them a realistic idea, they’ll give you a realistic price, and you can go from there.

There were times that I was working on a proposal and things got particularly neglected. I would call her up to let her know so she could schedule accordingly, and leave an extra $40 on the fridge. If she felt it warranted more she’d let me know.

It’s all in what you need and what you contract for.

My housekeeper does laundry and puts things away, although we don’t always know where they’ve gone…

She spends anywhere from 5-8 hours once a week, depending; she takes it on herself to do “sometimes” stuff, like cleaning out the fridge or doing windows, or will do that when asked. She does do whatever dishes are dirty, although she does break things, so I make sure the stuff we care about is done by us. We pay her a little extra to iron, which is almost every week.

I also pay her when she’s sick, give her a Christmas bonus and the week off, pay her when she has a family emergency and has to go home, help her with things like car insurance and her daughter with health insurance…so I think we get service over the odds.

Also I give her a small raise roughly every year (she’s been with us for going on ten years).

When I was a kid (before my Dad lost his job and we got poor), we had a few housekeepers on and off. I always thought it was so unfair because we always had to “clean up for the cleaning lady” before she arrived. Most housekeepers do not pick stuff up off the floor. In fact, you should have the floor clean before they arrive so that they can sweep, vacuum, mop, or whatever.


Moving to IMHO

Our housekeepers (a husband and wife team) vacuum all the rugs, clean the kitchen and bathrooms thoroughly including mopping the floors and any odd jobs we need. This is not what they do for a living; they come every second Saturday for three hours and have regular jobs. How we came on them is an interesting story in itself, but beside the point. They invited us to come to their house for a real Portuguese dinner on Sunday and we discovered they have an elegant house with a swimming pool in the backyard, more than what we have. We pay them $120 for three hours work and that is more than they ask. I think they do it because we are old and they feel we need someone like them.

Pretty much every housekeeper is different. The big franchises have standardized cleaning but individuals do what you want. My guy insists on putting things away. Unfortunately, that means I have no idea where things are. For example, I had a new screen protector for my iphone that I hadn’t had a chance to install yet (need to make sure the cats are locked up and no fur flying around). It was in the Amazon envelope and I came home to find it “put away”. It took me about half an hour to find it. I rely on my guy to do the vacuuming, bathroom and kitchen, wash the sheets and towels and change the bedding every 2 weeks. That saves me from lugging heavy sheets and towels up and down 2 flights and having to make the bed from scratch, and lets me concentrate on the rest of the laundry. I always make sure that the dishes are done, the dishwasher is run and emptied and everything is picked up before he comes because otherwise, I will never find anything.

ETA: He also works for my mother and insists on ratting me out to her if I don’t put things away. He also has a bad habit of not telling me when something is wrong. For example, my washing machine broke and I didn’t find out until I went to do laundry and found it full of water. When I spoke to my mother, she said that he had told her to tell me I needed a new washing machine (actually only needed a new lid switch).

Oh, How I wish I had these problems. I cannot deal with the anxiety of a person in my personal space touching my shit. I would worry about germs and her/his judgement. I am a bit of an OCD housekeeper also I’m a recovering hoarder. I like my stuff and as long as I can keep things in correct storage spaces no one notices if I am off the wagon. My middle daughter, who I might add is the same way, would see it and be all judge-y lives in New Orleans. I can hide from her. Oh, shit the holidays are close. I gotta start moving stuff around. I swear I’ve been good this year ;).

They stay as long as you pay them. For a superficial cleaning it may take two hours, a deeper cleaning may take four hours (for a two bedroom apartment about 800 square feet).

Generally costs come to about $25/hr.

Our cleaning ladies vacuum the carpets, sweep the hard floors, clean kitchen and bathroom sinks and counters, clean the tubs and toilets, and make the beds.

Sometimes they straighten stuff up, which is always dangerous because often they put things where we wouldn’t expect, and don’t find them for days or weeks. “WWCPI?” my wife and I will ask one another, “where would C. put it?” You never know, so we put stuff away before she gets here.

My housekeeper did laundry and dishes but didn’t put stuff away. I spent $500/month for once a week and gave her a 8.3% Christmas bonus each year. She didn’t put stuff away but she would straighten up the piles and least make them not look like a mess. I once had a guy renting my house while I was out of town for 6 months and he was such a mess that she almost quit on me twice and finally refused to clean the rooms he used most.

You can find a houskeeper to do whatever you’d like its just a matter of paying them appropriately for you time so if you’re peeing in cups and leaving them around the house it’s going to take more time and money. Know where you keep things and remembering week to week is going to be a more specialized skill. Particularly if where you want things is different than her natural location, my wife and I have been married for 5 years and where we think things belong and put in their proper place still isn’t the same.

Ho-ly crap. You couldn’t pay me enough to pick up someone’s pee cups. Is that really a thing?

Our take on it was to get the best value for money. We can put stuff away; it’s cleaning the bathroom and kitchen that’s hard work. If you want to pay someone to empty the dishwasher that’s fine, but I don’t see that as good value.