A Year of Having a Cleaner

A year ago we made probably the most middle class decision we have ever made – and we got a cleaner. I had been working from home for a year and found my time pulled between the house, school and work and trying to cram everything into the hours that the children were at school just wasn’t possible. Then, when Dave changed jobs and ended up working Monday to Friday and pretty normal hours rather than the shift work we’d been used to I knew something had to give – so we got a cleaner.

Getting a cleaner was a lot harder than I expected. They all worked differently and the big name firms all charged a small fortune so it took time to find a smaller but reliable firm, who supplied their own cleaning products and who would come at the same time each week.

We found a cleaner and it was like a weight had been lifted immediately. They came every Friday morning so I spent Thursday potting around, tidying the house so their time could be used to actually clean and on a Friday I would vacate, working from a coffee shop so they didn’t have to clean around me. I’d then go home at lunchtime to a lovely clean house that smelt amazing.

A year on and quite a lot has changed. The firm we employed no longer exists and instead we have employed our cleaner directly on a self employed basis, having been pleased with the job that she was doing beforehand. We get on well, she does a great job and it’s still the best investment we have made. It’s one less thing to think about each week and lets us dedicate time to everything else that needs doing and spending time as a family.

I never thought I would be the type of person to have a cleaner. But, since becoming self employed I’ve realised that so many people in similar positions employ all sorts of people to make their lives easier – cleaners, people who iron for them, housekeepers, odd job people and even nannies or au pairs. When you work full time – from home or otherwise – it’s so hard to balance everything and getting a cleaner pretty much saved my sanity. I can’t imagine not having one now and it’s completely changed my mindset when it comes to enlisting help. I’m now all for anything that can make life easier.

A Year of Having a Cleaner


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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  1. I have gone from workimg3 days to full time and I struggle to get housework done. Especially as new house has a lot morw facilities inside than old house and more visible areas of dust etc. Husband wanted to get a cleaner but I said no.

    I can appreciate the time saving having someone dedicated coming into do a good clean though.

    The issue I think too is finding someone reliable who does a good job.

  2. I think when you find a good cleaner you need to hang onto them. I’ve gone through three in the last two years and haven’t found ‘the one’ yet. I do love the feeling of coming home to a lovely clean house but after our last cleaner quit last week, I’m going to see how it goes without now. I doubt I will last very long though!

  3. My husband and I rarely fight except when we have to clean the house. Neither of us particularly enjoy house tasks and we ended up having a very stressful time while we do it.

    Last year, after a particular hard time at work we decided to get a weekly cleaner. She is better than couples’ therapy. She not only does the cleaning but she also organizes everything, does the ironing, washing, change bed sheets, etc. We basically just need to come home cook and enjoy ourselves. I don’t know how we survived without her for so long and we don’t even have kids!

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