Should You Hire a Professional Cleaner?

As a first-time renter, you’ve just started your career and you’re on your own for the first time. You often don’t have a lot of money and you’re just learning how to seriously follow a budget. A cleaning service is for the wealthy, for those older than you, totally unnecessary. Right?

Mostly, yes. But there are circumstances where it makes sense to at least consider hiring a professional.

Your roommates (and maybe you) are slobs:

The kitchen sink is always piled high with weeks-old dishes, the living room carpet has popcorn embedded in it, and your dining room table is covered with so many half-drunk beverages that it looks like mug-henge. You’re fed up. Your roommates are fed up. Whose fault is this mess? How does it get resolved? Cleaning schedules don’t work. Everyone promising to be neater doesn’t work. You thought you and your roommates got along, but now all you do is fight about this dang issue.

  • The cleaning solution: Splitting the cost of a cleaner several ways makes it a lot more affordable. You can pay the cleaner to clean all the common areas and if one of you (or all of you) want them to clean your room as well, that person can pay for that portion of the clean. Yes, it’s an expense, but if it means your place is livable again, you and your roommates get along again, and your blood pressure returns to normal, well, that’s worth it. Try having a cleaner come every two weeks.

Too busy and exhausted to bother:

Your job is great, but way more intense than you anticipated, so you’re not getting home until eight or so. You also have a robust social life – no time to enjoy the city like the present, right? You’re only at your place to sleep and to crash a few odd hours here and there. You’d love to have a clean pad, but you don’t have the energy.

  • The cleaning solution: Even if it’s not that messy, because you’re rarely around to mess it up, it still might make sense to have a pro come in. That way, you could fully enjoy the time you do just Netflix and chill. You also probably have a bit more money because of that intense job. Try having a cleaner come every four to six weeks.

You can do it yourself, but you’d rather not … and you’re not that good at it anyway.

You put a serious clean on your schedule every month or two. And it works, except it always ends up a total bummer. You’re spending four hours on a Saturday mopping and scrubbing, and for what? You’re not a pro. By the time you’re finished, you’re resentful and frustrated: You didn’t dust the top of the headboard, or polish every cabinet handle, or do that thing with the coffee maker where you run vinegar through it. And you’ve spent a precious weekend afternoon doing only an okay job.

  • The cleaning solution: You clearly appreciate the fruits of the labor. But man, you hate that labor. If you’d rather prioritize your time doing something else, that’s okay. Hiring a professional cleaner might be a bit expensive, but it’s also an investment in a weekend afternoon doing what you want. If that sounds like money well-spent, it’s probably worth it. Try hiring a cleaner as often as you’d normally set aside time for your ‘serious’ clean.

You never deep-clean because you don’t notice … until it’s too late.

You’re pretty well organized and you clean as you go. But after a year you realize you don’t really mop unless, well, unless there’s actual orange juice on the floor. And the shower, well, it’s gradually gotten dirtier, slowly enough that you didn’t really notice until you stopped and thought about it. No one would accuse you of being a slob, but somehow your place is starting to feel pretty gross.

  • The cleaning solution: You just need a little bit of help going that extra mile. It’s simple. The pro will take care of what you don’t bother with and overall you’ll love the revived sparkle of your place. Try hiring a cleaner every few months – or as needed.

Party people know that it takes a lot of cleaning to host.

You and your roommates love to have parties. It’s so fun to gather all your friends and talk the night away. And you’re a good host: you provide drinks and snacks and a great playlist. Problem is, between cleaning before people arrive … and then cleaning the next morning after people leave, that’s a lot of cleaning.

  • The cleaning solution: Depending on your personality, maybe you’d want the pro to come before your guests do, so your place truly shines. Or, maybe you want the pro after your guests leave, so you can enjoy a fresh clean home for a couple weeks post-party. The choice is up to you, but it might be worth doing one or the other. Try hiring a cleaner once and see how it goes.

P.S. If there is no way you can afford to hire a cleaner – or share one with roommates – having the right tools and supplies for the job will make all the difference.



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Author My First Apartment

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Alex has rented in Minneapolis, Queens, Brooklyn, and now Chicago. He can kill rodents and roaches when required, and loves picture-hanging projects. If you're ever in town, give him a shout.

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar Sharon Wilson-Smith

    I like that you suggested hiring a home cleaner every 4-6 weeks to make sure that you’ll have the time to chill and enjoy your life. This is something that I will make sure to remember because I can’t find the time to clean our house. My work impedes me from doing anything else when I get home. Since I don’t want to compromise the time that I have for my children, I’ll be sure to hire a pro.