View Full Version : A housekeeper?

04-14-2010, 08:01 AM
Okay, I'm overwhelmed. I looooooooove this house but it is much bigger than I'm used to and it's old (read dusty).

So there's a couple of housekeepers advertised. I just don't know for sure what I want/need or what to pay.

Any advice? Anyone have a helper? I think I just need help with the bathrooms/kitchen & maybe floors and occasional window scrubbing. I can keep up with the rest.

Should that be weekly (eeeek!) or will every other week do?



04-14-2010, 08:06 AM
I LOVE my housekeeper - Best spent money. It was hard at first, however, it has freed up a ton of time for family and other things. I only have her come every other week - same thing that you are thinking the bigger things. I still have to pick up, vacuum etc ~ but that's small and only takes 15-20 minutes. My advise - GO FOR IT!

04-14-2010, 10:08 AM
I used to do housecleaning on an individual basis, not through a cleaning company. It really depends on you and your family; since you have several people living in the house, there may be a need for more frequent cleaning. I'd suggest trying to separate how you feel about it emotionally from how often you or another family member would actually have to do the jobs to keep the house at your comfort level. I know someone who has a sign posted about their house: "Clean enough to be healthy, messy enough to be comfortable". But that balance is going to be different for each family. Talk it over with the Hubby - if one of you is a "neat freak", it may be best to go with weekly - especially if the other one isn't - LOL! Or perhaps you could teach an older child how to clean certain jobs (to a standard that you would be willing to pay them for, if accomplished), to make up the difference every other week? I know of kids that go to cleaning jobs with their mom or dad, and share in the earnings, as well as the work. Maybe you know someone who would like to share in the savings, as well as the work... ;-) Hope some of this helps!

Joanne K
04-14-2010, 05:46 PM
It sounds like a family meeting is in order. Your kids are old enough to help with some of the bigger, yucky jobs, as well as picking up their toys.

First, find out what the housekeepers charge, and what work is included in that. Windows? Laundry? Dinge out the back closet? European prices will certainly be different than American, and a German cleaners standards will be different too.

Then call a family meeting. Say 'This is what she will do, and this is what it costs. Now we can spend that money on a cleaner, OR if everybody can do a fair share, then we can spend the money on travel, and see more of Europe.

The follow through, of course is that if the kids help keep up the house, the money goes into a special travel fund. If they don't, then you can hire someone.


04-14-2010, 06:30 PM
Wow you ladies are just full of great advice here ..... I think I'll start dishing out 'more' jobs to my older kids too! :DD

04-14-2010, 06:46 PM
I would KILL to have a housekeeper... just can't afford it though *sigh* I would say bi-week though as far as things like windows/floors and weekly on the Kitchen/Bathroom things (those are my worst two rooms in the house, I can't seem to keep them clean for longer than 2 minutes!!!)

I have one of those Swiffer vacuum thingys and it's awesome for quick touch-up's on the floors & carpets to help maintain until "cleaning day" Both of my kids LOVE to help mommy with the Swiffer, they think it's so very cool! :)

04-15-2010, 06:25 AM
Now, see, the thing is, the kids do already help but this house is just a dirt magnet! And 6 bathrooms, it's insane... even with the urinal in one the boys still manage to, um, dirty up every bathroom.

Each kid has a bathroom a week to clean (and I have one LOL). However, two thoughts in my head here, I don't like to "fix it" when they do a not-good-enough-in-my-book job and undermine their work. At the same time, I like it cleaner than they do it... since they aren't stupid, they'll know if I do it (which I don't want to do, or really have the time) so I thought a housekeeper/helper would be a good solution.

The kids are doing a great job with the main floors, sweeping & mopping, but then there's the "extra" rooms and those just aren't being gotten to. In general the kitchen is sparkling every night, but a thorough scrubbing of the cabinets would be wonderful once a month. The windows, yuck, I can't seem to get them streak free from the last, messy, tenant.

I've found someone, I think I'll have her come over & do the windows/kitchen & bathrooms once. See how long it takes, how good she does & how much she charges (I've heard 10 Euro an hour, 30 Euro a cleaning, any ideas?). But once every other week should be fine. Especially once we get on a roll.

I need a little more time to take them to the park, Sensapolis, castles... and still have time to cook, laundry & work. This might be the ticket. I certainly would love not to have to scrub 6 bathrooms every week.

Thanks so much all!



04-16-2010, 06:01 AM
Wow, those prices sound great from my perspective here in Dublin. You can hardly find a sit-down restaurant meal for two for 30 Euro. Ten could buy me a good sized portion from my favorite chipper (Leo Burdocks, if you ever make it over here, LOL). And six bathrooms - unheard of! I used to get $10-12/hour in US, but you know you just have to try not to think about the exchange rate for euros...

BTW, I love that family meeting idea - kudos to you, Joanne!

Since they're already helping, but not to their maximum potential, I think the payment option or holiday fund option could be reserved for taking it to the next level of helpfulness. Great learning opportunity for home and consumer economics!

Joanne K
04-17-2010, 12:47 AM
If you say something like 'Gee I wish we could go to Lichtenstein this week, but we are going to have to do something closer to home and free, because the cleaner charges $ x', then the kids can see that the money can only go to one activity or another. Don't lay it on so thick that they think there is financial trouble, but let them know the 'disposable income' has been disposed of.

When our kids were teens, we gave them some choices as to what 'extra' money got spent on, and it did give them some sense of responsibility. We didn't have a housekeeper, but there were choices to make.

By the way just because there ARE 6 bathrooms, do they all need to be used? If possible, I would consider 'closing' a couple, guest use only.

07-08-2010, 11:21 AM
Just wondering how all of this is working out for you...?

07-08-2010, 01:12 PM
Oh Kelly, it worked out horribly. I got a team... took them 3 hours to do my upstairs (which is less than half the size of my downstairs, and my main floor)... and I found dust bunnies under the beds, nightstands that weren't wiped down, etc. etc.

I desperately need one & just can't find anyone willing to do it.



07-09-2010, 03:06 AM
That's so discouraging! Keep trying, and you'll find a match! I know here in Ireland we have several ladies in my church who have immigrated here, and thought they have regularly scheduled jobs, also hold down cleaning jobs on the side. Maybe you can find someone like that, who isn't "professional", but is glad to work hard for extra income.

07-09-2010, 04:47 AM
I'd love to have someone, but how do I approach people? "Hi would you like to make some money cleaning my house?" seems little awkward... and with my grace I'd probably wind up asking the Mayor's wife.


07-09-2010, 07:43 AM
The prices are VERY different here in Italy and I wouldn't be surprised if they work the same in Germany. I used to have a bed&breakfast several years ago and since I was alone running it I had a woman doing the rooms (i.e. cleaning). I checked a lot of women before choosing and again, the prices were very different. Some of them get paid per hour, some get paid per room. It works the same for house cleaning. Some ask a fee per hour, some ask a fee per apartment/house or based on what works you want them to do. For example they could ask a fee per each room and an extra if you want the laundry done. The average price is 15 euros per room or per hour anyway. Looks like 15 is the magic number. If they need one hour to clean a room (since they ask the same) believe me it must shine like a star after that! I tend to prefer paying per room or anyway a set fee since it's not my fault if they are "long" (lose time around or are just very slow as persons).
I would also support Kelly's idea of asking around a church or something like that. In Germany there a lot of extra-EU citizens who really need some money. But if I am right (Min?) German people pay a fee to their church if they choose a religion or something like that?? So there can be no people to look for there.
In Italy the most well-known foreigners for housekeeping are women of a certain age from Romania or Russia or either younger ladies (30s-50s) from the Philippine, and here you can easily find them around the church's organisations.
BTW, you could ask the mayor's wife *grin* if she has someone who helps at home and if she's willing to share the name with you. I am sure some of your husband's colleagues' wives have someone helping them.

07-09-2010, 01:45 PM
My members that clean are from Philippines, Zimbabwe, and Singapore, and I am American and have done cleaning jobs. Ringing up a church you are familiar with and asking the Pastor or secretary about it may be a good idea; I know I would pass your number on to my ladies if you were here asking me. Where in Germany are you located?

07-10-2010, 12:10 PM
hmm - I'd say just ask your neigbours or other Moms at Kindy if they know somebody, or post a "help wanted" note at the supermarket blackboard or church blackboard?

07-10-2010, 01:26 PM
I can't imagine trying to keep 6 bathrooms clean! Urgh! Hope you're able to find someone. These ladies have some great ideas!

12-31-2010, 11:27 AM
SIX bathrooms????
What the heck do you need so many for?

I'd lock a few of them and lose the key.........
Clean them first, lock them, and only re-open them when you have guesst staying, as their private bathroom. You may have to brush away some dust, but for the rest they will be squeaky clean.

12-31-2010, 12:03 PM
I have six boys (counting my husband LOL) plus me & Tess. And all those kids come with extras (ie friends). Believe me there are times they are ALL in use at the same time.

I have assigned a bathroom to everyone. Godforbid someone wants something & "their" bathroom isn't clean...


SIX bathrooms????
What the heck do you need so many for?

I'd lock a few of them and lose the key.........
Clean them first, lock them, and only re-open them when you have guesst staying, as their private bathroom. You may have to brush away some dust, but for the rest they will be squeaky clean.

01-01-2011, 06:47 PM
Well, in that case, it is their responsibility to keep it clean, too...

Maybe you could do one together with the responsible person every week, still letting them clean it, basicly, but supervising and helping, so it will be to YOUR standards. That way every bathroom will get thoroughly cleaned once every 6 weeks.

But a housekeeper is no luxury with a family that size. The problem is how to find someone reliable.

What are your priorities?
I mean, it is irritating if you still find dust bunnies, but if you still hoover under the beds on other days, it is no more than that, it is not a REAL problem.

If they do certain important jobs well, like cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen, always turn up according to schedule, offer value for money with respect to the amount of work done, don't steal, and don't put things where you cannot find them, most people would jump for joy.

I mean, MY priority is that they do the jobs my fibromyalgia and arthrosis don't allow me to do, myself. So in my case, dust bunnies under the bed or cupboards are a priority, as I have trouble reaching them.
I cannot even reach my own feet at times....

01-02-2011, 07:36 AM
The dust bunnies are a big problem. It is a big house, which is wonderful for all the kids, visitors and friends we have. But it is an old house with lots of dust made every day. I have lots of floor mats for feet by doors and a no shoe rule. Still lots of dust bunnies.

The main area (kitchen, hall, living room) is swept twice a day. STILL there's dust bunnies. I need a permanent duster, floor washer & window cleaner. I can do the bathrooms. I'm having no luck finding someone to come once a week. I'd even make them a really, really tasty cup of coffee!


03-10-2011, 08:15 AM
Toiny, can I have one of your bathrooms pleaseeeeeeeeee. We have ONE and jay and Jess take the whole morning in there to get ready. It drives me demented..... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Or, can I come live with you. I'll do the cleaning for bed and board????????

03-10-2011, 08:54 AM
Or, can I come live with you. I'll do the cleaning for bed and board????????

ROFL! I'm about to divorce my husband, I was coming to ask the same thing!! LOL! ;) :DD

03-10-2011, 09:23 AM
Boo! You are hired girl!!! Come on down. Seriously. I've got room and I need the help.



03-10-2011, 01:28 PM
eeeekkkkkk, wheres me flippin' passport???????????

03-11-2011, 08:11 AM
I have a person who comes everyday (Monday to Friday) for the last 6 years now, about 3 to 5 hours. She clean and cook some times, ironing, laundry, windows, bathrooms, beds, water the plants, take my boy to the bus... she helps me with anything that has to do at home, even taking care of Carlos if we have to go out. I pay her 9 per hour. So I just clean at the weekends things like closets. A couple time during the year, she make specials works like clean crockery and glassware, lamps, walls, curtains, sofas and a big spring cleaning. Between all this, windows once a month, dust once a week...
The normal everyday for her is cleaning the kitchen, beds, laundry and ironing the day after laundry, vacuuming everyday and mopping the floor each two days, and the bathrooms. Fridays she cook something special for our weekend. She help me a lot, but if she need time for herself, I don't care if she takes one day during the week, so we have a great relationship. I don't pay her to much, the normal prizes in Spain is 10 to 12 per hour. Hope that helps. :)

03-11-2011, 09:00 AM
Wow Eva! Lucky gal!

I have taken to doing "Power Cleaning" at least once a day. I set a timer for 20 minutes and get to work. Doesn't matter what the task is, cleaning a bathroom, dishes, vacuuming, dusting - I clean non-stop for those 20 minutes (ignore the phone - and other distractions) until that timer goes off. It's amazing how much I can get done in just 20 minutes a day this way. It's not the only cleaning I do by any means, but staying focused for that time is really helpful.

03-11-2011, 09:21 AM
Oh, Eva, I would kill for a person like that! You are very lucky indeed! :DD

I've been trying to do what Manda does... I don't set a timer, but I try to take 10-15 min every couple of hours or so to do one chore - with two kids here, dishes & laundry quickly get out of control if I don't focus on them every day! I also make the kids help! They are responsible for picking up their rooms & the toys downstairs (although, being only 4 & 6, I still have to pick up a little bit ;) ) and they help vacuum, sweep, mop & clean cabinet doors/windows - and they actually do it all with a smile on their face and LOVE to do it! Strange children.... LOL! :DD

03-11-2011, 01:04 PM
Eva, I'm driving to Spain & stealing her.... heads-up.

03-12-2011, 10:30 PM
I pay $60 every other week for exactly what you need! I could not do without her!

03-13-2011, 03:09 AM
See $60, even in Euro's, every other week I could afford. I really want, NEED, someone to help. I'm going to go bug my neighbor today. She wants a favor from me anyway (she loves, loves, loves charcoal-grilled burgers with Sweet Baby Ray's).

Fingers crossed everyone. I'm at then end of my rope with dusting. And bathrooms.



Ambowife Designs
03-13-2011, 06:41 AM
Aww if only we lived closer to eachother Toiny :) I'm super cheap, but not easy rofl!!