The cleanliness of our homes affects everything from our health to our moods and even our relationships. And yet I have never heard a single person utter the phrase “I just loved cleaning that toilet today.”
So consider this: Does it have to be done by you?
For many, parenthood makes it essential to guard your time, prioritize and consider outsourcing when you can. It’s always going to be a matter of picking and choosing based on finances, needs and more. But, if there is some room in the budget, hiring a regular (or even occasional) housekeeper can create the time in your life for more meaningful pursuits.
Here are six reasons to consider hiring a cleaning service:
1. It leaves more time for other things on your to-do list
It’s true that sometimes cleaning can be cathartic. (You should see the way I furiously scrub the floorboards after a fight with my husband.) The rest of the time, though? It’s not what I would call a hobby.
Psychologist Stacey Rosenfeld, PhD, CGP, CEDS, notes that the monotony of cleaning has both pros and cons—but if you’re short on time, like most parents, you may want to spend it otherwise occupied. “Engaging in activities that are more engaging and creative can help us stay more mindful or present,” she says.
2. It’s good for your physical health
I like my home deep cleaned by someone regularly because I feel secure knowing that our surroundings won’t make us sick. Vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping thoroughly remove germs, allergens, and dust mites (which leave behind enzymes that can potentially be harmful to humans). Deep cleaning under and behind furniture also ensures that no food crumbs are lingering to attract vermin like mice, rats and cockroaches, which also carry disease.
3. It’s good for your relationship
I remember so clearly the last time I got after my husband for not rinsing his toothpaste in the sink. Unfortunately, that’s because it was just this morning. But when I’m not the one who has to scrub the hardened toothpaste from the rim of the sink every week, suddenly my attitude toward my husband changes.
Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics agrees. He and his wife hired a weekly cleaning service years ago and saw a marked improvement in their relationship. “The cleanliness of the home had been a thorn in our side for years. We’d gotten into fights about it, allegations, lists and agreements which were never properly upheld. Finally, I said we will hire someone. And we did. Best decision ever.”
4. Because your time is worth the money
As the old saying goes, “Time is money.” So how much is your time worth? When finances get tight, it’s tempting to avoid extras—like cleaning services. But that could cause other issues.
Kathleen Harper, author and certified life coach, says she and her husband once decided to cut their cleaning service to save money.
“The bulk of the housekeeping then fell to me,” she says. Over the next couple of years, I became resentful of the chores because they took time away from what I wanted to be doing, like playing with my children, spending time with friends and working on hobbies.”
Harper says she realized the resentment wasn’t worth the money they were saving, so she called up the cleaning service again. “Even before she started coming every two weeks, my attitude improved, the tension in my marriage eased and my happiness grew tenfold.”
5. It’s good for your mental health
There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into a newly cleaned house. The smell, the lack of clutter—it’s intoxicating. Even studies say that a lack of clutter is good for mental health.
Also good for mental health? Not putting so much pressure on yourself to do it all.
“At a time when most households now need two earners, many women find themselves overwhelmed due to increased demands,” explains clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Sweeton. “Not only are they working long hours outside the home, but research has shown that women's work ‘inside’ the home has not decreased as expected. This means that women ‘having it all’ has turned into women ‘doing it all.’”
6. You can finally make time for self-care
Usually at the bottom of my list: time for myself. (Sad but true. ?)
That’s easier to amend if you have a cleaning service. Rosenfeld agrees: “Taking care of your home can interfere with taking care of yourself. The several hours that you'd spend mopping and scrubbing could be more therapeutically spent reading a book, calling an old friend, journaling, going on a walk, enjoying a satisfying meal, etc.”
Convinced? Now, just to play the mom role: Remember to hire from a company that does background checks or get a reliable referral from a friend.
Then start enjoying less stress and a clean home—you deserve it.