Maid Culture & Chore Makeover

February 26, 2014

MONEY / Uncategorized


I’m still getting the hang of being a stay-at-home-wife. (I know, WAH). I want to be good at it and not burn out or get desperate-y. When I was working like a madwoman, Saturdays (let’s be honest, many Friday nights too with a glass of wine and cleaning gloves on) were the day/night for massive cleaning while 800 loads of laundry were going….sheets, dog beds etc.

There were periods where I worked (and did not work) and DID have maid service.

If you are not from or do not live in California, please know that here, especially in Southern California, it is perfectly socially acceptable to have a maid. You’re not a snobby or lazy person here. You’re basically celebrated because you know the value of your time: more time surfing and tanning, less time scrubbing and polishing. I know people who do not make necessarily “tons” of money but they have “people.” I’m saying this because where my family is from in Pennsylvania, I don’t remember being raised with the idea of maids being “normal.” On the other hand, my mother grew up in Korea and she had a live-in maid all of her life. Anyhow.

When I shared/rented a 4 bedroom house by the beach with a roommate it cost us $100 and we did it every 2 weeks. When I owned a 2 bedroom condo it cost $75 per time (I did it like once every 2 months). The more often/regular you are, the less it costs. Personally I see HUGE value in having a cleaning service…unless I’m not working and have plenty of time to save the money by doing it myself.

P.S.I hope to hire someone and spoil myself after the baby is born in June for a little house help…at least until I transition a bit. 

So what I’ve been doing for the last year or so hasn’t been working for me. What I have been doing is going manic on Mondays, cleaning the house from top to bottom while the 10,000 loads of laundry go.

This week, I decided to do the downstairs on Monday and the upstairs on Tuesday. This still works for my brain because I can be in an area and see cleanliness all around me. Breaking up the cleaning further is my next attempt but I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle this! 

After the baby, 4-6 hours of straight cleaning is NOT going to be realistic. 🙂 Please share some of your domestic charms with me!!! 

Sidenote: Does anyone have an air filter that is reasonably priced and works well?


  • Fatma

    lovely flowers!

  • Ha, we found the same thing when we lived in VA. Lots of our friends, just young couples, had maids! It makes a lot of sense when you realize how efficiently someone else can do the job. And that it actually gets done.

    • Bethany, I was kind of shocked when I moved to California years ago too! It seemed crazy to me and then I wanted to embrace it!

  • Time is so valuable, Niina! I agree. Right now I just have the most I’ve ever had! 🙂 the funny thing is, the more busy I make myself, the more productive I am. I actually got a new notepad (pic on instagram) that has helped me to “waste” less time and be more efficient…even if it’s things like crocheting on my to-do list! I sometimes feel embarrassed if I have a cleaning person and do not work! 🙂

  • I hope you come up with some sort of routine that works for you if you guys don’t get a maid! I’m sure the work will just pile up once baby arrives.

    • LOL-I’m SURE there will be a pile up! AHAAAAAA! First world probs, right? 🙂

  • BlushandBarbells

    I never really do a big cleaning job except for scrubbing the bathroom once a week. I just do other things as they need doing. We do have a rather small apartment though, so it’s not a lot to do anyway.
    My mother was a cleaning lady and I used to go with her to work, so I don’t think I’d ever hire a maid myself. My sister on the other hand someone who comes twice a month.

    • What I really need is a cleaning psychologist. j/k. My mom NEVER had a cleaning person when I was growing up. It was like a crazy thought to her even though she grew up with it. I’m not sure if this is how you relate but, there are some things that I don’t see value in paying for b/c I can do them myself…I LOVE getting my nails done but sometimes I’m like, “hey, I’m good and can do it myself!” My mom cooks EVERYTHING and my parents barely EVER went out to eat. I sometimes feel like it’s a waste/too expensive to go out to eat!

      • BlushandBarbells

        I just hate spending money generally haha

  • Krista Williams

    We have a cleaning lady that comes once a month to do the heavy cleaning we just don’t have time for. It’s wonderful to come home from work the day that she has come and see a perfectly clean house. And then 15 minutes later the dogs and the kids ruin all of her hard work. But boy, were those 15 minutes great!
    I’ve heard that some people do a few (15-30) minutes of pre-planned cleaning every weekday and by Friday everything has been cleaned. I’m planning on trying that soon.

    • Cleaning people are ahhhhmaaaazing!!! So glad you do that!! Yes, I can imagine the dirty level is going to go up with kids! I’m going to have to let go a bit. I am going to transition to this daily 30 minutes thing…wish me luck!

  • i would love to get a service eventually. right now we are able to share some duties and get by. but doing the big cleanings every other weekend or so can be exhausting. luckily jarrod likes doing laundry so that helps!

    • That is awesome that Jarrod likes laundry! I’m scared of having Barbie sized clothes and all my whites going pink. I have trust issues. 🙂 Chris keeps telling me to get a maid but I’m too cheap! 🙂

  • Pamela Bannon

    In New York it is perfectly appropriate to have help. It is just a quality of life issue. My husband and I both work long hours and we don’t want to spend the weekends cleaning. We want to spend them with Taylor. After I had my daughter I as home for two years and I did not have a cleaning lady but I do know people that are stay at home Moms that have help and I envy them. I think if you do a little bit every day it is the easiest way. Like maybe Mondays are for dusting and vacuuming. Then Tuesdays can be for one bathroom and Wednesdays for the other. Thursdays for the kitchen and Friday laundry. Something like that maybe? God luck and don’t get overwhelmed! Just do a little at a time!

    • You’ve got it, Pam! It can just make everyone happier and more available! It’s interesting how cleaning services are part of the culture in some places and in others they are not! I really want to get in the hang of spreading out the chores. This week was the first step. Gonna keep spreading it more and more!!! Thanks for the encouragement!