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How long do you think it should take to clean my house?


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#1 Chloe

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:01 PM

I have a 2-story colonial style home with 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living room, family room and big eat-in kitchen (took the wall down between the small kitchen and dining room to make one big kitchen and dining area). I have no idea of the square footage, but the bedrooms and bathrooms are small to average and the family room is pretty big.

I've been fortunate enough to be able to have someone clean my home for almost the past two years. However the lady we had wouldn't work more than 4 hours a day cleaning. She charged a lump some for 4 hours of cleaning, but said she could not clean my house in 4 hours, so she did everything except the bedrooms. She did a great job with what she did clean though. We stopped using her last fall because she was getting unreliable with when she could come (we have to schedule our days around this) and we found out she was using our phone to make long-distance phone calls. So we recently got someone else for the same price, but this lady cleans my house in less than 2 1/2 hours! One lady can't clean the whole house in 4 hours and another cleans it in half the time. This makes no sense! I suspect the first lady was wasting time doing other things (she always brought her lunch with her, so I know she was at least stopping to eat) and the new lady isn't being thorough. In fact, she just seems to be wiping over stuff, but not really cleaning it. YKWIM?

What do you think would be a reasonable amount of time to clean my house in one shot?

I am having such a hard time keeping up with it myself, because we do school all morning, and my 16 mo only naps about 1 hour in the afternoon. During that time we do our history and geography. I'm considering paying someone to take my dc for a few hours and doing it myself? It would certainly be a lot cheaper.

#2 Anne/Ankara

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:08 PM

We used to have cleaning ladies come, and the three of them would clean the whole house in about an hour. But later, we started just cleaning it ourselves (after discovering that our cleaning ladies had been stealing from other neighbor's homes-- luckily not ours). It takes me less time than the three of them, but I don't do as good a job! But at least I don't have to straighten up the whole house every three weeks when they were due to come... hmmmm, not sure if things are better now or not!

#3 Mrs. H.

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:14 PM

It takes me at least four hours to clean my house if I do it all in one day, and I thought there was something wrong with me for taking so long. We have a 2800 sq. ft. house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, 2 story.

This four-hour session includes: changing sheets, emptying trash cans and cleaning them, dusting (we have lots of shelves and wood furniture), windexing all mirrors, tidying up/putting things back in order, vacuuming all carpets, stairs, and under furniture cushions, scrubbing both bathrooms, cleaning entire kitchen (not inside refrigerator or stove), and mopping all hard floors.

I am probably more thorough than a cleaning lady would be, because I stop to sort through papers, straighten up books, put things where they belong, and a cleaning person wouldn't know what to do with that stuff, so they would just set it aside somewhere.

During this time I am also switching loads of laundry out, starting/finishing meal preparations, and make sure that kids are doing their jobs, like vacuuming their rooms or bringing down upstairs trash cans.

Before we bought this house, I cleaned it for my fil once a week. It took me two hours top to bottom, start to finish, but he didn't do any cooking, did his own laundry, and lived alone, so the upstairs never got touched, it just needed a once-over.

#4 Rhondabee

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:22 PM

My house has the same specs as yours, and I can get the living areas, baths and kitchen from, "OMG, please don't let DFACS come right now!" to Ready-for-company in two hours if need be. But, that means I am throwing things into bedrooms, where they won't be seen.

I personally have a harder time with bedrooms because hardly any stuff belongs in the living areas; but when I clean the bedrooms, I want things put back *where they belong* and not just stuffed into a drawer or closet.

I really like the Motivatedmoms.com list. It helps keep things reasonably clean without going overboard. (I've been known to clean out the silverware drawer even though one can't walk through the den area :( )

Speaking of which, I"m supposed to be doing laundry right now ;)

#5 Harriet Vane

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:40 PM

My house has roughly the same specs.

I find it takes a minimum of three hours per floor.

I used to clean houses in college. While I struggle mightily with tidiness, I *do* know how to really clean a house.

I have also employed *many* cleaning ladies over the years, from teenage mom's helpers to professionals. A really amazing cleaning lady from a local Polish cleaning service can get the first and second floor done in six hours. She's a dynamo--she works fast and hard and barely gets it all done twice a month.

When I have had less skilled cleaning ladies, I have a list of basics that they can accomplish in about four hours total for both floors. Every couple months I would supplement those basics by either hiring them for an extra two hours of deep-cleaning, doing a major 8-hour cleaning day on my own (skipping the cleaning lady that week) or getting an extra cleaning lady and having the two of them work four hours and really deep-cleaning.

2 1/2 hours is way too quick. Even four hours is a stretch.

#6 Chloe

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 03:25 PM

Anne,
I know what you mean about straightening up the house each time the cleaning lady is supposed to come. I sometimes think as much time as I spend doing that, I might as well clean the house myself anyway. It's not that the house is that messy, it's just that my dc have a ton of nick-nacks and collectables in their rooms with no real home or order to them. I always have to get my dc to purge or throw things in a drawer or closet for the time-being. It's the same with my school stuff and the odds and ends that always end up on the kitchen counter.

#7 mcconnellboys

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 03:27 PM

To do a really thorough job? I'd say about 3-4 hours. But you're right, the other lady should have been able to do it ALL in the time she was there (although I guess that would have been hard given that she was on the phone for some of that time period) and the new one sounds like most of those out there doing cleaning, just giving it a lick and a promise....

Good luck finding someone honest and thorough,

Regena

#8 Chloe

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 03:27 PM

Yes! That's me! I will spend all day cleaning out a closet while the rest of the house could use a good vacuuming and dusting. I'd just rather organize than clean.

#9 Chloe

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 03:41 PM

Yes, I think I need to drop this cleaning lady. She and I have a different idea of what cleaning is. I've even come home to toothpaste splatters still on the bathroom mirror. You can tell she's wiped over it, but not bothered to make sure she's gotten all the spots off. My dc could do as good a job. I'd actually prefer that we all clean the house together anyway, but then there's no one to watch the baby. I'll have to figure something out.

#10 Renai

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 03:46 PM

I'd just rather organize than clean.


Wow! You summed me up in 6 words! I am so glad you put it like that. Now I know what my problem is. I'll be meditating on it as I watch the dishes in the sink and put my CDs in alphabetical order :D.

Renai

#11 elegantlion

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 03:59 PM

My dh and I used to own a cleaning biz. We did the work. My dh is speed cleaner but very thorough. I am slower than him. We would do several homes of your size. On the average it would take us 2 hours as a team.

You can be quick and thorough, but if she is leaving toothpaste on the mirrors that wouldn't cut it with me.

#12 SandraDumas

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 04:26 PM

MOST cleaning ladies only to the pretty good cleaning-wipe thing. They don't do deep-down scrub-it-hard grunt work unless you tell them to.

Anyway for that size house, just you, with no interruptions doing a very good job but not necessarily going all-out, I'd say 2.5 hours.

My house is 3 bed, small living room, not too cluttered and if I were to clean the whole house in one shot with no interruptions it would be about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Note: This means cleaning/dusting fans, moving books and then dusting the shelves, moving knicknacks and dusting under them, really scrubbing showers and toilets and floors, moving and cleaning under stuff in kitchen, etc.

But it doesn't include:
cleaning out under beds
cleaning walls, doors, molding, fixtures
moving and cleaning under couches, etc.
cleaning the top of the fridge and other really, really out of the way places.

Have you considered motivated Moms? Motivated Moms is the realistic version of Fly Lady. I LOVE IT. For only about 8.00 you get an entire years worth of checklists which have you clean and organize every area of your house at some point. It's not as high standards as Fly Lady. For instance in Motivated Moms you don't vacuum every day, or change towels every day. In fact I don't even think you wipe down the bathroom sinks every day. But it includes things like cleaning light fixtures, dusting the master bedroom, etc. One wonderful thing is that since she's a homeschool MOm with kids she understands that we only have about 10 minutes a pop. So she always schedules everything in small increments. Therefore you won't find "Clean out entire garage" listed under some Thursday. Rather you will find, "Spend Some time working on closet or storage area." This is working so wonderfully for me. I am getting everything done, things I used to always put off. Then if I really am in the mood I do more cleaning on the main areas.

Just google motivated Moms if you are interested.

#13 Quiver0f10

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 04:35 PM

I have 2 clients right now that I clean for. Client one has 1 bedroom( 3 more upstairs that I only do if company is coming), kitchen, dining area, lviing room, office, den, laundry room, 2 bathrooms and entry. It takes me 4-5 hours to clean her place. She has A LOT of "stuff".

Client 2 has 4 bedrooms ( I only clean master) 4 bathrooms, kitchen, dinning area, living room, laundry, den and family room. It takes me 3.5-4 hours to clean her house. She has minimal stuff and hardly any clutter. I am no longer cleaning for client 2 though, not that it matters for this thread :-)

#14 Cadam

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 04:41 PM

I say put the baby is a pack 'n' play with some toys in the middle of the action so she can see everyone and just put them all to work. I have to remind my 10 yo to clean the mirror properly but you shouldn't have to remind the cleaning lady.
I use to clean for my grandfather. He didn't cook much but the bathroom always needed a really good cleaning (I only came once a month). It took me 2.5 hours for a small kitchen, dining area, living room , bedroom and bathroom. He wasn't super cluttery but he didn't pick up before I came. I did baseboards and the window blinds, all of it but it was a pretty small apt.

#15 Chloe

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:16 PM

Christina, I wish I could just put the baby in a pack-n-play, but she started climbing out of her playpen last month. It was pointless, so we finally got rid of it. She hasn't started climbing out of her crib yet, but she is not happy in it at all!


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