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What Regular Home-Related Tasks Do You Hire Out?

Y’all, I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for over two years now. I’ve hired someone to clean my house on a weekly basis. Not only that, but she’s also going to do my grocery shopping for me, and do any necessary food prep (i.e., washing/chopping/bagging veggies) for that week’s recipes so that my time spent in the kitchen cooking meals each day can be a bit more efficient and streamlined.

I know it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to some of you, but for a fiercely independent person like me to finally admit that she needs help with normal life things like cleaning and grocery shopping, that’s a big deal. Heck, I’ve only just now gotten to the point where I can admit that remodel-related things are too much for me, like leveling the breakfast room floor with new concrete. And after watching that process (that took three men), I’m so glad I didn’t attempt that myself!! I would have been a puddle of tears covered in concrete! 😀

But I finally came to the realization last week (with quite a bit of urging from Matt) that with all of the work I do around here (remodeling + DIY projects + writing a blog + taking care of Matt every day), I deserve to treat myself and have some regular weekly help around here.

And after dragging my feet on hiring someone for over two years now, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders! Not only will I have help, but I’ll have help from someone I really like and trust. Someone I know is a hard worker and will get in here and get stuff done. And most of all, I’m excited that it will free me up to work on the house more.

And the way it came about is kind of interesting.

When Matt finally urged me to just pick up the phone and call a cleaning service, I went to Angie’s List and found the top-rated company in our area and tried to make an appointment. She wasn’t in the office, so she took my contact info and said she’d get back with me the next day to schedule an appointment. I never heard back from her.

So last week, I made an appointment with another locally-owned cleaning company. One of the owners came out and gave me an estimate. And while she seemed perfectly nice, and I know they could handle the job of cleaning perfectly fine, I thought the prices were too high. I mean, their prices were quite a bit higher here in this small-ish city of Waco than what my bonus sister Cathi pays to have her house cleaned by a reputable company in the DFW area. So that disappointed me.

I know I could have called around to other companies, but I just kept thinking that none of them would do everything for me that I needed/wanted. I really just wanted to find a trustworthy woman who I could pay to do the two specific things I needed — cleaning and shopping.

So yesterday morning, Matt and I were talking about it again, and I said, “You know, if I could hire any person I wanted, I’d hire the manager at [a restaurant close to our house where we eat frequently].” And he said, “Well, ask her! You never know.”

So after our conversation, I headed over to the restaurant and asked her, and she was interested! I think she was also a bit shocked that I was asking her pretty much out of the blue, but I just explained that every time I was in there, I was very impressed with her work ethic. She works extremely hard, and she works fast. She’s a manager and has been with that company for 20 years, so I know she’s responsible. She’s friendly and has a great personality. And as a bonus, she works with food everyday, so the shopping and food prep shouldn’t be a problem for her.

She came over yesterday to see the house, and we chatted for probably an hour. I had to laugh, because she said, “Kristi, when you told me that you work from home, I pictured you sitting behind a computer all day long. I had no idea this is what you meant by working from home!” 😀

Ha! Yeah…explaining what I do for a living can be a tricky thing. 😀

As it turns out, she lives about nine streets over from me. And while she was here, she said that her mother-in-law had worked in the hospitality industry for many years, and that if I was okay with it, they might be able to do this together and get it done faster and split the money. And her mother-in-law lives three streets over from me! So I asked her if she’d like to call her mother-in-law and invited her over to see the house and meet me. She came right over, and the three of us chatted for a while and worked out a schedule.

I love it when things work out. I’m really hoping that this does work out for the long run, and that it doesn’t become too much for her with her normal work schedule. I don’t think she would be easy to replace.

Things seem to be going my way lately! I think I’ve found “my people” for remodel-related stuff. I found super dependable concrete guys who can also do other remodel-related things. (They came back last Monday and hauled away all of my piles and piles of construction debris and about 30 bags of filled contractor bags at a very reasonable price.) And now I have someone who can help me weekly with cleaning and grocery shopping.

And now I’m thinking I could really get used to this. 😀 I already have someone who mows my yard twice a month. Heck, who else do I need in my life?

What types of things do you pay to have done on a regular basis? Do you have someone clean your house? Do yard work? Walk your dog? What else have I been missing out on all these years? 😀 And how do you go about finding reliable people? Do you use Angie’s List? Referrals from friends and family?



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75 Comments

  • Reply
    Adrienne
    August 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Regularly and ongoing I hire out: House cleaning and Mowing

    That is really it. I occasionally will hire someone to clean up the yard and mulch but I only do that once every few years.

    • Reply
      Kristi
      August 29, 2016 at 9:56 am

      By “clean up the yard” you mean trimming bushes, weeding planting beds, and stuff like that?
       
      I’m nowhere near needing that just yet. Heck, even now the person mowing my yard is just mowing weeds in the front yard. 😀 I look forward to having planting beds with pretty plants, and actual grass. But I’ll definitely need someone to take care of all of that for me as well. I don’t know the first thing about taking care of plants.

      • Reply
        Adrienne
        August 29, 2016 at 11:30 am

        Yard work is taxing. I never realized how big of a job it was. I had the landscapers trim bushes, dig out the weeds out of the plant beds and defining the beds by digging out the grass and mulching. It is a big job.

        Really, I like to keep the yard as simple as possible so that it is easy to maintain. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue
    August 29, 2016 at 9:56 am

    At this point in our lives, we still do most everything ourselves but I can see that in the future we will have to hire others for home improvement projects. Both of us have had back issues this past year and are not getting any younger.

  • Reply
    Kcarp
    August 29, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I have a weekly housekeeper and I work from home as well. I Live about 45 minutes north of DFW and I find the prices here more than in DFW. I think it’s a supply/demand thing. It’s hard to find someone and when you do they have so much business they can charge more. In fact all of the contractors here are more than I paid when I lived in the DFW area and finding contractors is next to impossible.

    I need someone to repair my wood floors and cannot find anyone. If anyone lives in the Texoma area and knows a floor repairman let me know.

  • Reply
    Peggy
    August 29, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Thinking of someone to take care of the flower beds; weeding, mulching, trimming, etc. I like the way they look when kept up, but really don’t care for doing it myself. I am the poster child for ‘low maintenance does not mean no maintenance.’

  • Reply
    Kismetique
    August 29, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I only hire out my yard mowing, flower bed cleanup and any trimming needing done. I’ve hired housekeepers in the past, and in fact, my daughter cleans houses for a living (but when she cleans mine, we visit more than she cleans). I can’t hire housekeepers, as I clean before they come, I don’t want them to think I’m a terrible housekeeper! HAHAHA So – it either doesn’t get done, or I do it myself. We are moving to a much much much smaller house getting ready for retirement, so I’m excited that my cleaning will be small and I think very fast since everything is going away!

    • Reply
      kcarp
      August 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      I clean before my housekeeper comes, and I apologize when she gets here id the house is messy. I also change my sheets before she gets here. I don’t know why

      • Reply
        Kismetique
        August 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        I’m not sure why we do it, but I’m just very glad I’m not the only one! My daughter laughs at me when I clean before the housekeeper arrives. In that she does it for a living, she has horrendous tales what she walks into and what she is expected to clean!

        • Reply
          kim domingue
          August 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm

          And this is why I’ve never had a housekeeper and likely never will. I would clean the house before the housekeeper came to clean the house so the housekeeper wouldn’t think I was a horrible housekeeper. And, yes, I’m fully aware just how twisted that logic is, lol!

          We have hired out for really big jobs like tree removal or putting in a concrete driveway and pouring the slab for the foundation of our shop/garage, installing an AC unit in the house. We built our first shop from the ground up by ourselves. But when we built the shop/garage we hired out for the framework, roofing and electrical so everything was up to code. A 24×50 building was a little much at our age although we sided it, put up interior walls, installed the doors and windows and put up the sheetrock ceiling and did all the finish work ourselves. If I never put up another sheetrock ceiling again in this lifetime, it will be too soon!

          As the hubs and I are both staring 60 down the throat, there may come a time that we hire out for more things but money is tight and we just keep doing the things we can do for now.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    August 29, 2016 at 10:18 am

    We occasionally hire out for our yard work, especially now that I’m pregnant and can’t help. I also hire out larger cleaning jobs like having the carpets cleaned. I can’t wait until we can afford to have our yard work done on a weekly basis, because it just looks better and the professionals can get it done in less than half the time it takes my husband to mow.

    • Reply
      Kristi
      August 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

      It amazes me how fast the pros can get the yards finished! What would take me all day long, with the mowing, edging, leaf blowing, cleaning out planting beds, etc., takes their team about 45 minutes. They work so fast, and have it down to an art.

  • Reply
    JenW
    August 29, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Good for you! We have a housekeeper that comes every other week and it’s just fabulous! A definite luxury, but one I feel good about. It’s an arrangement that’s beneficial to us, as well as to her!

    We’ve used Angie’s List before but it’s been a bit hit or miss for us. I far prefer to get in person referrals where I know someone was happy with the service they received. After two very very bad experiences from top rated Angie’s List companies we gave up on Angie and her list.

    We finally found “our people” in a recent retiree from my company who expanded his light construction/handyman business after retiring from his full time job. I had worked with him and saw his work ethic and attention to detail for years. I felt pretty good about hiring him. 🙂

  • Reply
    Eileen
    August 29, 2016 at 10:19 am

    My husband has been a retired workaholic, so hiring out has always been an issue, but with age and a decision not to climb on a roof anymore(thank God), we have had people in to do construction type stuff. He still is hanging onto the yardwork, but if the need arises, we’ll be hiring someone to at least mow the lawn. Hiring people is such a smart thing to do.

  • Reply
    Marlene Kelly
    August 29, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I hire responsible teens and young adults who don’t currently have a job. I have even hired adult friends who were between jobs. I pay them hourly to come help me with whatever project I’m working on – or wish I was working on! 🙂 I hired one to help me decorate for Christmas last year, one to help me catalog all of my books on a phone app, another to help me put down trim around my flower beds, one to help clean out the garage, a couple of sisters to clean my house while they were on summer break from college, etc. I usually hire from church friends or my friend’s older children. I get them for a few hours one time and if they are not really efficient or motivated, I thank them, pay them, and don’t call them back. Others I tell to let me know if they have some time or need to earn some money. I can almost always find a project for responsible people that want to work! It helps me and helps them.

    • Reply
      Kathleen
      August 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      That is such a smart way to hire help! I’ve never really thought of hiring teens/young adults to do a job. If it is not done perfectly they are not as expensive and there is no need to hire them again!

  • Reply
    Tracy Carroll
    August 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

    So glad you found somebody to help you out. I have a lady that comes over to clean every two weeks (I try to get my kids to keep the house maintained in between her coming, so that’s why I don’t have her here every week). Out of curiosity, what does it cost /hour to hire a cleaning lady in the Waco area? I live in WA state, and I pay $25/hr for just cleaning, no shopping or food prep 🙂

    • Reply
      Kristi
      August 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

      From the cleaning service, it was going to cost me $95/week, and that was for two women, and she estimated two hours per week. So that’s pretty comparable to what you’re paying.
       
      Since I’m asking above and beyond the norm, I pretty much came up with a price I felt comfortable with, so I decided on $150/week for what I estimated would be 5 hours of work each week. I wanted to pay a bit more than what the cleaning service was charging since she’ll be driving her own car and using her own gas in the course of her work for me (i.e., back and forth to the grocery store).

  • Reply
    Laurie
    August 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Mowing. My hubby and I have allergies and now that we’re middle-aged, we got tired of trying to fit in lawn mowing after long days of full-time jobs and busy weekends. We also hire out for bigger home improvement jobs or jobs we’ve not as skilled/efficient doing like tile work, major plumbing, masonry, or more involved carpentry. Most stuff we do ourselves. We just replaced our kitchen tile with new oak hardwood which we did ourselves, but we hired out to replace tile flooring in two bathrooms to save us the hassle. They did a beautiful job much faster than we would have been able to do (and we didn’t have to buy/rent a tile cutter). As for chores, I still do all the cleaning and shopping myself. But there are times, I wish I didn’t have to clean so much.

  • Reply
    Karen Saari
    August 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I’ve always worked from home and have hired someone to clean house for me several times in the various places I’ve lived. I’m also disabled and would rather save what oomph I have for things that are not housework. I’m about to do it again – hire someone to clean house. I’ve usually had someone come in once a week and do the big stuff. Bathroom, floors, dusting and then a rotation of windows, clean the fridge, move the furniture and vacuum etc. So far, it hasn’t cost me more than about $30 a week, but now I live in a more expensive area so I’ll have to check it out.

    I hope your restaurant manager works out – that’s amazing that she was willing and eager! I’d love to find someone like that.

  • Reply
    Sewducky
    August 29, 2016 at 10:26 am

    My current home has included yard care with HOA and it’s one of our favorite things about it. We felt we could never keep up at our past home (and it was part of our rent). I do have a robotic vaccum, It was bought to reduce the dust bunnies. When it cleans I clean, needs new bateries right now though.

    I don’t hire out, but tend to barter skill/manpower with friends and family on projects, it just makes it more tolerable with extra hands. I get called in to help set-up/spruce before gatherings for a cut of the leftovers. A friend of ours hires out cleaning services (started when there was a case of walking pnumonia in the home) and it helps out so much they continued afterwards. Another friend of mine has fallen on hard job security, and found her calling with a local ap controlled personal grocery shopping start-up to make ends meet.

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

    We hire out for big projects (painting entire house, installing new floors etc.) – when I had all 8 kids at home we hired out a deep cleaning service twice a year… And window cleaning service. As the kids got older we hired THEM 😀. Favorite thing was the window cleaners…. Nothing like clean windows and screens 😀

  • Reply
    Anne
    August 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I just finally got a job in a location where I will be making enough above cost of living that I’ll be able to hire someone to clean the house once a month. (I will hopefully up that to twice a month once some of the school debt is paid off.) I. Can’t. Wait. I hate cleaning the house, so it doesn’t get done, then I never want anyone to come over because our house is a mess, and just… I think it’s going to be life changing. I suppose we’ll see. 🙂

  • Reply
    Brenda Pawloski
    August 29, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Oh my gosh, plus it sounds like you are going to have some new friends too, because they sound like lovely people. I predict including this in your life is going to take your productivity and creativity and happiness to new heights!

    We have someone to clean our gutters and change high exterior flood lights, out home is two stories high from the front and three from the back, we tried but it’s really beyond us. Also, its not cheap but we get it “soft washed” every year, keeps it looking clean and new in Georgia. Mowing, blowing and edging too. So I guess it’s mostly outside things right now.

    The best interior cleaner I had was a man. He was faster, better and used virtually no bleach or ammonia. White vinegar and hot water yet the house did not smell like a salad! He did the hard floors by hand with a well wrung microfiber cloth, was good for hardwood because he was conscious of not getting it too wet. He got training and went into health care – good for him! But I have had no one since in the house except for me. I’m spoiled, could not have someone who just windexes the house anymore!

  • Reply
    mary anne Looby
    August 29, 2016 at 10:43 am

    We have someone who takes care of the yard. Cutting grass, mending fences, trimming shrubs, planting shrubs and trees, cutting down dead ones, mulching etc. I also have a gardener, a school teacher who love gardening. She comes over every other week and pulls weeds in all the beds, deadheads any plants, and will plant any perennials or bulbs. I have a cleaning service that comes by weekly. They clean the whole house, or the parts I ask them to do. I have been using Amazon pantry, for things like bottled water, gatorade, laundry products. My daughter get our TP at a “club” she belongs to. We try to get the heavy stuff delivered, as long as the cost is not high. I buy meat and fish at a local high end grocery store, when I want it. I also buy fresh produce, fruits and veggies, every other day. I do not like to have much in my fridge other than drinks, eggs, butter, milk and fresh produce, bacon and cheese. In my pantry I have two boxes of cereal that my husband buys. Fresh dried pasta, good Italian canned tomatoes. Coffee, tea, all kinds, hot chocolate mix, Flour, sugar and other baking items. Oils and vinegars, one or two jams or jellies. That is it. No processed foods. I would rather cook chicken breasts and slice them thinly for sandwiches, or cook a beef tenderloin piece and slice it on our meat slicer for sandwhiches. We like to eat but we don’t do hot. If we go out, it has to be to a restaurant with really good food, if not we will stay home and cook. I would love to have some one to do the laundry. I hate doing sheets and blankets and in the summer I change the bed every two days. I would also like to have a chef, maybe just four nights a week. And while I am dreaming, a swimming pool, and hot tub combo, a different car, a wider mouth……I think I have lost track of where we were going. Good for you, having you house clean is just bliss.

    • Reply
      Dale
      August 29, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      I love your post lol………….as I was reading it I thought “I want a tummy tuck and face lift!”

      • Reply
        Mary Anne Looby
        August 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

        Funny Dale~, I don’t need a face lift, at least I don’t think I do, and for me a tummy tuck would have to be a tummy removal. I am still carrying my four kids even though they range in age from 47 to 37

        Funny post Dale! I don’t think I need a face lift, but I could use a tummy removal. I am still carrying my four children and the are 47,43,37,38, LOL

        • Reply
          Dale
          August 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

          I didn’t mean you needed a face lift or tummy tuck lol………..I was jokingly adding to your list! I too am carrying the excess from my four children as well, ages 35, 33, 31 and 29.

          • Reply
            Mary Anne Looby
            August 30, 2016 at 10:02 am

            Heavens! I know that! I know a joke when I see one. Wouldn’t it be nice to win a lottery, I would entice Kristi to move in with us and get all the built ins and pocket doors this house deserves! I would pay her well and make Matt comfortable. They could even take time off to visit Philadelphia and New York. I would still want all the rest of those things, but as my husband always tells me, if you don’t buy a ticket you won’t win LOL.

            • Dale
              August 30, 2016 at 10:19 am

              so funny, my husband says the same thing!!

    • Reply
      kim domingue
      August 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Lol! I want the chef, gardener and a face lift, please! After 37 years, I am burnt out on cooking. Gardening is not something I excel at. And I’m getting awfully tired of that old woman being in my bathroom mirror every morning!

      • Reply
        Kate
        August 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm

        And who the heck is that old lady on the iPad screen before I turn it on???? Looks like my mama….

        • Reply
          kim domingue
          August 30, 2016 at 12:25 am

          Oh, lord! You’re being haunted by an old lady too? This is reaching epedimic proportions! This old woman must be found and stopped! She looks like your mother, you say? I don’t recognize the woman in my mirror but she scares the begessus out of me every time she pops up in a mirror. I’m going to have to be cautious now just in case she starts showing up in my tablet’s sleeping screen. It’ll make me really mad if she shows up there and scares me so bad that I fling the thing across the room and break it! Lol!

      • Reply
        Mary Anne Looby
        August 30, 2016 at 5:13 am

        You are preaching to the choir! I have a black thumb for gardening, and I have been slinging hash for 47 years. I don’t want to get fixed up to go out to eat, I just want a nice hot meal put in front of me like my husband and four kids got for all those years!

        • Reply
          kim domingue
          September 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm

          Oh, Jeez! Some days the prospect of trying to pull myself together and look presentable to go out to eat somewhere……well, that just takes more energy than I can muster up! And the hubs will cook every so often but he still hasn’t got the hang of cleaning up the aftermath, lol!

  • Reply
    Melody
    August 29, 2016 at 10:48 am

    We do it all ourselves. We have lived on such tight budgeting for so long, it never made sense to pay for something we were capable of doing. Now we have some room budget-wise, but with 4 kids, it’s training them in the ways of “working hard for what you have”. This summer we took out our front lawns and did low-water landscaping (central California). We did it all with the exception of having our tree stump ground out and branches chipped. It was refreshing to not have that burden. And now, with no lawns to wash our cars over, we take our cars in to the car wash. That is our one new thing. I enjoy it every time, and feel happy to have one less chore. It’s pretty crazy how even one small task removed can be such a sigh of relief. Enjoy this change Kristi!

    • Reply
      Joyce
      August 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Same here, Melody. My husband and I have always worked hard and had that never-pay-anyone-else-to do-something-you-can-do-yourself attitude. It would be a great luxury to hire someone to help with cleaning and cooking since both have gotten pretty tedious after 45 years of marriage. But I know we would have had a hard time putting 4 kids through college and saving for retirement if we had been spending hundreds of extra dollars each month rather than putting that money into savings. That said, I’m happy for you, Kristie.

  • Reply
    chiflipper
    August 29, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I have 18 foot ceilings (LR & 3 BD’s) with windows way up there, window cleaners are a must. A tree service to trim and remove trees. Tree man and I have a plan of attack for the next 4-5 years. (The previous owners neglected the acreage for years.) Husband mows, 4 hours to do the “grass”. I still clean the inside…not well or often. A cleaning lady, or man, is next on my list.
    So glad you have allowed yourself to hire help. It’s a blessing for both you AND the people you hire.

  • Reply
    Julie Mandell
    August 29, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Husband cooks and grocery shops. It’s his thing – he actually enjoys both! On the other hand he doesn’t know a hammer from a screwdriver so I’m in charge of all home maintenance. When something breaks – I google it extensively to try to figure out a fix and order a part if necessary. I enjoy taking things apart : )

    I do not want to deal with extension ladders outside so I do not paint our two story house but I will use my Little Giant ladder inside if I need to strip wallpaper or paint way up high. I haven’t hired an electrician or plumber for basic things like faucet installs and light switch and light fixture installs but will call one if the sump pump goes out or to run new electrical service. Buying and learning to use a multimeter was key for me there.

    I don’t hire out cleaning and instead have two Roombas who roam from room to room. I’d suggest them only to people who, like me, like taking things apart to see how they work because they do require some maintenance periodically.

    We have a yard service for the lawn – we’re on an acre and there is no way I’d deal with that. I’m trying to convince hubby to downsize now that the kids are grown and flown but he is very change-averse so getting him out of our four bedroom/4 bath house will be quite a challenge. I’m itching for a townhouse because of the no maintenance aspect. Would still want a garage and basement for all my projects though!

  • Reply
    Patriica
    August 29, 2016 at 11:08 am

    We do the day to day ourselves. My husband is a whiz with a vacuum and I finally stopped getting offended he was doing ‘my work’ and let him have at it. He works from home now and the dog hair and dust gets to him. I dust because if I don’t you can’t see the decorating!
    We hire the things that you would do yourself! I’ve painted half the house hired someone to do tall ceilings and rooms that aren’t so easy. I’ve hired a decorator for a couple hours at a time just to make sure I’m on track and don’t spend time and money on something that I won’t like. We hire plumbers because I’m never doing that and my husband doesn’t have the time or patience. We hire electricians.
    My job is to take care of my hubby, volunteer, be available to go out of town for grandchildren, and keep the house humming.
    We’ve found some good people from Angies List but my favorite have been the list of people that were recommend by our realtor.

  • Reply
    Donna
    August 29, 2016 at 11:28 am

    i hire out gutter cleaning on a regular basis. I have tried to hire out mowing but the charge for my single sidewalk strip in front was the same as that strip plus the backyard (mine is all planting beds, small patio, etc.) so I’ve taken a pass on mowing for now.

    I hire out major construction jobs-like concrete, sidewalks, additional room, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. It is just safer that way and it shows up with permits on my property records–that’s important for future resale if I go that direction (which I doubt but one never knows).

    I fully intend to hire out the foam insulation in the basement and completing the upstairs bathroom. I’ll probably do the laminate flooring, baseboards, painting, etc. I have been known to do drywall and joint compound. There’s plenty to do after the big jobs are hired out so I figure I’ll always be busy.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    August 29, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I intend to hire someone to do three things weekly, housekeeping-wise: 1. Clean the bathrooms, 2. Wash the floors (I pretty much have all hard surface flooring), and 3. Make up the bed with fresh linens (I will strip/wash). My husband and I bought a Roomba last year, and when we finished our recent living room remodel, we put it to work. I love it!! It really does keep things tidy. It runs three times a week, and it’s surprisingly good at avoiding tangles and troubles, although once in a while we arrive home to find that it’s been trying to Baja (it knocked over a baby gate – for dogs – and climbed on top of it, then stopped, out of frustration, I guess). But with five animals in the house, it seemed like I was forever sweeping, and that’s just about come to a complete halt. I’d also like to hire out some yard work. We have about an acre under lawn irrigation, and it can be a real chore. And I’m forever dreaming of opening up new flower beds, so that’s back-breaking work. Next summer, there’s a patio to be laid. Not sure if we’re up to it, or if hired workmen are the answer there, too. Guess we’ll play it by ear!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      August 29, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Oh, and when it comes to construction jobs…. well, we hire out the skill and we are the grunts: haul, clean, paint, caulk, stain, varnish, simple carpentry, etc.

  • Reply
    Rose Szymanski
    August 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Great post, once again. Mowing seems to be high up on the list, and it is the one thing I’m considering doing — hiring out to mow the lawn. 10+ years ago I did all the landscaping, and changed my front lawn from a plain little ranch house lawn with azalea bushes, to a highly designed, with chamaecyparis, Japanese maple, viburnums, Southern Holly, boxwood, deciduous hollies, oh, and roses, lots of old rose bushes, plus anemones, iris, rudbeckia, etc., etc . I did it all myself, and maintained it, and my husband just had to cut what little lawn remained. Now he has COPD, I have 2 jobs now, and just no time for yard work. I hate so much when it’s horrible and weedy, and considered moving into a condo (and did a ton of research on that). But decided the best value to live in the neighborhood I prefer to live in, is to stay in my house. So we’ve decided to hire a lawn cutter for awhile. I may take the route that one of the above posters did: take out the lawn entirely and replace it with groundcover (suitable for the South, clay dirt).

  • Reply
    Marianne in Mo.
    August 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    We are in our 60’s, and rarely hire outside help. My husband has always done the mowing ( I have asthma, so I can’t breathe around it ) and we have always shared the load on housekeeping, shopping and maintenance chores. We still share cooking duty, alternating days. He has a limited amount of cooking skills, so I do more elaborate meals and he does easy. This way we know at least every other day it will be well rounded, more healthy and a bit yummier! 😉 But it’s amazing how much he has learned over the years, when all he could manage were hockey pucks on the grill!

    We are building a house on a lake right now ( one acre, mostly wooded ) and I would love to get a landscaping service to mow and plant/maintain the upcoming yard space. But I am sure hubs will nix that – he’s pretty squeaky when it comes to money spending! I hope to lean on my daughter and her husband for a little help from time to time. They are both great at cleaning ( SIL is a cleaning whiz, as well as a pro painter! ) and SIL climbs the ladder to clean gutters and hang/remove Christmas lights in exchange for a good meal! Sadly, no one knows as much about plants as I do ( in our family ) because I used to work at a garden center, and after that, a home decor store. I just can’t do the labor on it like I once could, so I have to rely on the above mentioned folks, and stand over them to supervise. And they STILL don’t do it to my satisfaction, so I say a prayer, a God bless ’em, and hope things don’t die!

    Sometimes, DIY is overrated! But I’m glad I know how to do most anything if I need to do it in an emergency. Some people don’t even know how to shut off a main water line or cut off their power in an emergency. If this is you, readers, please take time to learn – you never know – try to find someone to do it in the middle of the night, or on Sunday, and you will wish you knew! Been there, done that!

  • Reply
    Em
    August 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    In the last several years, we’ve pretty much only hired out for concrete in the yard.

    We’ve always done our own painting, landscaping, and do our own mowing and trim…but hired a neighbor in the business do the weed/feed.

    Housekeeping? My job. Cooking? Mine, too…needs work!

  • Reply
    Christina
    August 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Good for you! This is going to be great for you. I started using a grocery delivery service a year ago and it’s been life changing. It’s as though I’ve gained an entire day free to do other things. Recently we also started using Hello Fresh for three meals a week and love that too. We’re eating better with less hassle on work nights.
    In addition to those things I use a lawn service and a pool service. I don’t have tons of money but the time to do other things is worth it to me.

  • Reply
    Sherre
    August 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    You go girl. In the few months that I was in deep with a bathroom and kitchen renovation, I found that the normal chores (grocery shopping, laundry, dusting, etc.) were sooo cumbersome and seriously cut into reno time!

    If I had the funds, I would absotively posilutely hire landscapers. I hate mowing, my yard is very hilly (very short, steep hills), and it never EVER dries because I have crappy weed grass, and also the earth is clay here, so I have these potato sized rocks that like to pop up unexpectedly and turn into missiles. Also, I have a spot right up against my house that is difficult to mow, so my plan was to lay edging stones and plant some low maintenance plants in there. That project has been ongoing for 4 years. Yardwork is hard.

  • Reply
    Linda
    August 29, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I have a cleaning lady that comes every two weeks. I have COPD so don’t have the energy to clean. Hubby is getting older and can’t do cleaning like we used to, although he still does the yard. Thank goodness it’s a pretty small one. Anyway, over the years we have hired help for different things, and it is SOOO worth it to not have to worry about it. Most of our hired help has come by friends, or just word of mouth. I’ve never gone thru an organization to find someone. You will feel so freed up to do other things, it really does take a load off your shoulders.

  • Reply
    Christine M.
    August 29, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Don’t laugh but I have a nanny for our Dog! – We don’t have kids. I run 3 family businesses and I’m a graduate student. My work and school requires at least 1-2 trips per monthly lately. T. comes and stays with the dog when we travel, takes him to the vet (he’s an allergic and sickly dog – but very cute and sweet) when I’m too busy at work and cleans while she’s at the house. It works great.

    I could really use a full time housekeeper but right now that just isn’t in the budget. I wish my husband would let me hire lawn guys. he claims it is his exercise but frankly I’m tired of having the ugliest yard on the block.

  • Reply
    Betsy
    August 29, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    We do most things ourselves, but we have some clogged gutters that will require a tall extension ladder so I plan to hire someone for that. I will probably use Angie’s list or Thumbtack to find someone, unless I can get a referral from family and friends. But we need some concrete resurfaced and our driveway sealed all this year and we’re going to use YouTube videos to guide us in doing these things ourselves.

    If my husband and I didn’t each have restrictive diets due to differing health matters, I would love to try Blue Apron or Plated or one of those services for dinner 2-3 times a week. I have heard how fabulous they are and have in turn, recommended them to others.

  • Reply
    Dale
    August 29, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    We hire for large jobs such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical. As far as cleaning, shopping and yard work we do that ourselves. I often think that when I am older I will hire someone to do those things, but while we can do it, we do. My husband is retired so he enjoys doing the yard and he helps SOMEWHAT with the housework lol

  • Reply
    Anne
    August 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    We hire a gardener to mow, edge and trim bushes. He comes every week. I also hire a window cleaning company that cleans my windows 3 times a year. I do clean my own house but that is getting harder and harder as I get older! I think a housekeeper is in my near future.

  • Reply
    Fern
    August 29, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I don’t have dogs anymore, but the best thing I ever paid to do was to have someone come twice a week to clean up my yard. At one time I had 3 dogs – one large dog and two medium sized ones – hence there was a lot to clean up. The money I spent on that service was definitely money well spent!

  • Reply
    Julie Ford
    August 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    My husband and I purchased a new house in December. This house is almost twice the size as the last and on 1.5 Acres. Once spring hit, we focus our own energies on the yard. Sweat equity is something we can do at our age and once the snow melted we were able to see that the previous owners used the yard as a garbage dump, so sad😕
    We edged the garden beds, planted some flowers, mulched and removed trees less than 10″ in diameter. We paid a tree guy to remove 7 large trees over 60′- those are best left to the professionals. We took out 6 truck loads of garbage, regraded the yard, planted grass and have been cutting the yard ourselves and installed a fence(professionals did this as well). It has been a lot of work!! Many neighbors have stopped over to tell us they are so happy someone is giving the house much needed love. We have some more work ahead of us but lots of progress has been made. I do have someone who cleans for us every other week and I love it. She does the heavy lifting. I have twin 4 year olds so I greatly appreciate her help.

  • Reply
    Susan
    August 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Hubs andi raised 8 children. And his job as Chemical engineer meant moving so we always bought fixer uppers and fixed them up. Early retirement due to weird heart problem and got that fixed then retired and in the middle if fixing and flipping house stock market crashed so change of plans . He became an over the road truck driver trainer and I house sat and worked. we turned out unsold house into a vacation home to make ends meet. It was a five year plan haha. He is home now and we are sort of retired; I sub teach and he remodels small scale and it works for us.
    The vrbo vacation house has been great and we travel and visit our kids and help them remodel their homes;we areal always welcome. Funny thing is we hire out housekeeper who manages our house and have gArdener for yard and some one to water flowers to care of our guests. We go’home’ about every six weeks between bookings. So yes we hire out but I think it is really a business arrangement not ‘help’. Haha life is never boring and we will probably never sell the house as it is paying for itself but then again we only live im it about three months a year. Truth is stranger thN fiction.

  • Reply
    Danna
    August 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Good for you, Kristi. I am a cleaning lady 3 days a week and a bookkeeper 1 day a week. I got my jobs through friends and referrals. I think as hard as you work at rebuilding your home and having a husband that may require extra help, you should not be feeling any guilt. You are saving so much money by doing the work yourself, that a housekeeper won’t be much in the long run. I think our homes are our haven’s. They should be a place you feel relaxed and comfortable in. I think a mess is chaotic. I have been following your blog for awhile and as OCD as I am, I take comfort in the fact that someone is going to be helping you get things clean and decent food in your bellies. When you are not working, you deserve to rest in as clean an environment as you can. I think it is going to be less stressful for your husband too. I am sure he must feel the burden you are under. Good for you!

  • Reply
    CathyR
    August 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    15 yrs ago I hired out wallpaper stripping for the LR after it took me a month to do the DR and got frozen shoulder after doing the kitchen. I’m going to hire out painting prior to selling because up/down on a ladder leads to vicious leg cramps and I work FT as a nurse…my feet & legs have taken quite a beating over the years! I’ve never hired a house cleaner because 1, I always felt guilty/ lazy doing so, and 2, my friends have had bad experiences with them. It always seemed more of a hassle. As I near 65 soon I’m rethinking that idea. I was member # 525 on Angie’s List and have always relied on her reviews and information.
    I’ve read your blog for awhile now, and I’m happy you’ve made peace with getting help. I have long thought you should, but it seemed presumptuous to say so. And, you’re helping someone else make some extra money as a bonus! Ps— I’m so crazy in love with your kitchen— I’d love to prep, cook and serve you two dinner every night!!

  • Reply
    Pam Day
    August 29, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    In my perfect world, i would be a professional organizer and go into peoples’ homes and put away all their crap (ie, toss most of it). That said, in my own home, it’s now just my husband and I and he doesn’t meet my standards (LOL) – so we hire a housekeeper every two weeks (I LIVE for those Fridays!). A few years ago, we also hired someone to come blow all our leaves into the front yard and vacuum them up (100+ bags of leaves, gone in a day and no one is on muscle relaxers — WIN!). we only have a front yard to mow, and at that, one I can do in 20 mins, so I do it — but I do hire someone to come once a year and aerate and seed bc I don’t want to do that myself.

    I guess the shorter answer would be — we pay for what we don’t want to/can’t physically do, that makes our marriage happier. 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela
    August 29, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    At this rate, you need to buy a lottery ticket!

  • Reply
    jen
    August 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I am pretty independent and have had a hard time hiring out work. That said, we live on a large lot with lots of trees and the fall clean-up was taking us all day, every Saturday for a month. I hired a crew to do it at the end of the year and it takes them 4 hours plus a bit to haul to the green waste. Totally worth it.

    I also hired window washers for the first time this week. It took 2 workers almost 5 hours to clean the insides and outsides, repairs screens, scrub hard water stains from my hose-cleaning, and clean tracks of my 32 windows. My entire house feels so much cleaner by having sparkly windows. I will now hire that twice per year.

    I clean myself, I’m very motivated except for bathrooms, so I force myself to do those on Thursdays. That way I don’t procrastinate for another day. I threw a sit-down dinner Christmas party for my 28 co-workers, and hired a cleaning lady to deep-clean a few days before. It was my Christmas present from my husband and it was marvelous, although I was totally uncomfortable while she was here!

  • Reply
    Lisa E
    August 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    So glad that you will have help. I have to admit my first thought was how will a Restaurant Mgr have the time, but it seems to all be worked out. I have been wanting to hire somebody to clean our two bathrooms on a weekly basis. We have hard water and I can’t seem to get the tub and shower as clean as I like with my weakened wrists due to Tendonitis. It would be such a relief to have that done for me!

  • Reply
    Tammy
    August 29, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I have someone who comes and cleans about every 2 weeks, and if I need something in between (like before my oldest sons grad party) she will come then. My hubby and I are pretty handy otherwise, it’s more about finding the “time” to do stuff. Ugh!
    I love following your ideas, and you have soooo many! Your mind must never stop.
    I do have a question about the black paint you used. I’ve used the Behr Polar Bear for white and love it, but my son wants one of his bedroom walls painted black and I’m wondering how you chose a black paint??? He is 11 so it will probably stay that color for a while. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Reply
      Kristi
      August 30, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Over the years, I tried several different blacks — ones that I chose by going to the paint chip wall at Home Depot and comparing all of the black paint chips and finding one that looked the best.
       
      After doing that several times, I realized I was always disappointed with undertones, or lack of depth of color, etc. I caught myself always thinking, “I just want black! Deep, dark, rich black!”
       
      So the next time, I bypassed the paint chips and went directly to the paint desk and asked if they just had a “solid, pure, deep black.” And he mixed it for me! It literally only has black pigment in it. Nothing else.
       
      So if you want just a pure, deep, dark, rich black with no undertones, no faded “off-black” look, just go directly to the paint desk and ask for a gallon of Pure Black. Keep in mind that the duller the shinier the finish (glossy and semi-gloss) the darker and deeper the color will look. It’s a bit less deep and dark as you head towards the matte finish, but that’s true with every paint color.
       
      I used matte finish on my music room walls, and I can tell you that I’d NEVER use that in a kid’s room. It’s impossible to wipe something off the wall and leave it streak-free. Every single thing that touches the wall leaves a mark behind. So the lowest sheen I’d recommend would be eggshell.

  • Reply
    Jeanne in Austin
    August 29, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    First, you have illustrated my favorite saying: If you don’t ask, the answer is ALWAYS no!

    I no longer do the yard work, and our guy also does other things outdoors: gutters, tree trimming, concrete, etc. For other chores that I cannot do, I rely on my neighbors from Nextdoor.com to give their personal recommendations.

    When we vacation, we have someone to come stay in our house to care for our cat and two dogs. They are less anxious, and it’s cheaper than boarding all three.

  • Reply
    Kat Beckerman
    August 29, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    After five years living overseas, I have learned (and been told repeatedly) we are crazy Americans trying to do everything ourselves. After a year into our first assignment, I gave in to my friends and hired a mother’s helper. I had a one month old baby plus three young school age kids in a foreign country and the closest family was an 11 hour flight. It was the BEST thing I did. I didn’t have the crazy stress that I had when the other three were born. Now, I have a full time Ayi. She does it ALL. Even cooks for us and cleans up after the dogs (my fav)! My husband works/lives in another city during the week… so he is no help. I am so very grateful to have her! She loves my kids and the dogs! We also have a driver. We are banned by my husband’s company from driving here. I wasn’t thrilled giving up my “freedom” (I love driving) but I am so glad not having to drive in the CRAZINESS! But I have come to love having a driver. Those times you run out of something while cooking, I just message him and 10 minutes later…its here. I don’t have to haul my kids around to 4 different places… he does it. It’s raining, he is waiting with an umbrella. We can both have a glass of wine or two at dinner and not have to worry about it! And he carries in my groceries! Which helps so much with my chronic pain!

    I know once we are back in the States, we could never afford all these luxuries, but I have already told my husband, we WILL find it in our budget to at least have a weekly cleaner in. He said as long has he can hire out the lawn work! I think back to all the work we put in around our old house in the States and it really took away from family time and added so much stress to both of us.

    • Reply
      Kristi
      August 30, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Oh, wow! Now I want to hire a driver! 😀

  • Reply
    JP
    August 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    No wonder I am so far behind. I’m a widow who still works full time in local government and I am so far behind both in and outside the house. I don’t hire anything done except for occasionally (every 5 years?) having to hire a contractor. I’m in a long distance relationship now and it’s been helpful and not helpful at the same time. My guy is handy and has lots of skills and has fixed several things at my older two-story house, but he lives six hours away and about half the weekends we like to get together at his place or travel elsewhere, so of course nothing practical gets done here those weekends. Really, I need to spend every waking hour (that I’m not at my job) working here at home, and I just don’t. I don’t feel like I could afford a house cleaner.

  • Reply
    Tenney
    August 30, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I would love to hire out some of my chores around the house – especially the yard. It is way too big for me – I mow in phases, parking strip Sat morning, back yard Sat afternoon, side yard Sun morning. I have used “The Maids” before a party, but I did feel guilty. It’s definitely a personal choice, what we think we can afford, versus what we’ll save in time and stress.

    My Dad was retired Navy, and they lived in a community filled with retired military. He passed 27 years before Mom, but she was very lucky to be able to afford to pay “her people” to do stuff. One guy had moved back home to take care of his widowed Mom, and ended up doing things for lots of widows. She had him take out the rubbish containers to the road on garbage day, and then he would swing by later to bring the containers back in. She used to say they had to pinch pennies early in Dad’s career, but she always had her hair done every week, and a cleaning lady once a week, also. Mom also gave up driving at a pretty young age and took cabs in that small town. People always thought that was very expensive, but if you think about the cost of a car, registration, insurance, gas and repairs, it wasn’t so bad.

    I really hope “your people” save you lots of time, stress and aggravation. These comments are really making me think about a Roomba, as dog hair is a big factor in my dirty floors.

    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Pride
    August 30, 2016 at 1:43 am

    I have a toddler and a 7 month old baby, who keep me on my toes. I work during the day and only have time to really clean the house over weekends. During the week, I manage to only tidy up for about 20 minutes before rushing to work and when I come back, I’m usually exhausted and can only do what’s doable. To be honest, I wish I did not have a 9 – 5 job to go to so that I can keep my house clean all the time. Am really, really considering getting help every now and then. The problem is that I may turn out to be the most pedantic boss ever as I have my cleaning standards to uphold. Eish!

  • Reply
    Mrs Mike
    August 30, 2016 at 7:18 am

    So I have three teenage boys. Yard work is their responsibility, although they still require supervision to get it done to my standards, lol. My husband and I have been talking about hiring someone to help with the house because I do work full time (and have a Houston traffic commute, which is never easy) and go to school full time, plus manage four kids schedules. I’m searching a local FB group to find someone local as I don’t want to spend a fortune, but am recognizing I just need more of a helping hand than what I can do by myself (hubby also works some crazy long hours but he’s outside all day and I feel bad asking him to pitch in, particularly in the summer after he’s been out in the heat). I have to admit, I’ve been dragging my feet because it seems like such a luxury. But if I’m being honest, I have really hit the overwhelmed stage… 🙁

  • Reply
    Ann
    August 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I recently researched for lawn service, tile/grout clean and repair, and carpentry work to finish a utility room. I selected each from recommended services through Home Advisor from the web, and I have been extremely pleased with the service from each. I say YEAH for you, for recognizing and pursuing the need of a little help! We all need it at times.

  • Reply
    Lou Clifton
    August 30, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Oh wow, I have read the comments and I am one of the ones that think it would be wonderful to hire things out around the house but, its not an option and I don’t think it will ever be. I am sure if I would win the lottery if I would buy a ticket there would be someone else needs that I would think would be more important. Happy for you and love how you can get so many responses to a simple question.

  • Reply
    Audrey in Iowa
    August 30, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    My husband and I are in our early 60’s. We retired and moved to our lake cottage 3 years ago, the same time you were moving Kristi. We do everything ourselves since we have the time. We have a house 1/3 the size we had in town which is awesome!! Love cleaning my house in an hour. Because of you, I did a lot of remodel work on our home before we sold it. Putting in groutable vinyl floors and turning a closet into a drop zone to name a few things. I also had a child in h.s. yet. Regarding doing all the house things and cooking . . . a crock pot was a life saver for me. I always made my family a nice meal each night and it was nice to be able to put food in that in the morning and have a healthy meal at the end of the day when I was tired from working on the house. Easy clean up too. Just a suggestion for healthy, easy cooking. I hope your cleaning ladies work out for you. Definitely frees up a lot of your time!A

  • Reply
    sue
    August 30, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Not much…we built our home 30 yrs.ago and did most everything ourselves…hired out plumbing….hubby finally consented a few yrs. ago to hire to reroof our home …steep roof and 2 1/2 stories high…and we get our extremely tall douglas fir trees cut professionally..it would be dangerous any other way….I suppose now that we are in our 60’s we will have to start hiring some things out….

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