We all know how stressful and time-consuming everyday life can be when you have a home, a family, and a full-time job. With only 24 hours in the day, keeping the house clean, the groceries stocked, and the laundry moving can feel like an impossible feat.
And if you’re frugal, hiring some help might seem out of the question. After all, why should you pay someone to complete a task you can easily do yourself?
The Day We Hired a Housekeeper
My husband and I found ourselves in this exact situation late last year. With two full-time jobs, two kids in school and activities, and plenty of other responsibilities, we were struggling to keep up with basic household chores – but too stubborn (and cheap) to ask for help.
But, then it happened. After spending an entire Saturday night scrubbing bathrooms and mopping the floors while simultaneously crying, I finally snapped. And it was at that moment that my husband made the decision to hire a bi-weekly housekeeper – whether I truly wanted to or not.
Fortunately, it was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Now that we have someone to deep clean every few weeks, I can focus on the daily stuff – wiping down counters, picking up toys, laundry, and dishes. And for the first time in a really long time, I can say that I no longer feel overwhelmed by it all. Because, no matter how busy life gets, our housekeeper’s next visit is never more than a few weeks away.
Four Signs It’s Time to Outsource Some Household Tasks
With all that being said, it took me a while to realize that outsourcing household tasks actually made a lot of sense for us. Here are some signs to look for if you find yourself in the same predicament:
You’re planning your life around avoiding chores.
Working part-time or full-time can take a toll on your body and your mental health, and that’s especially true if you’re also running a household and taking care of kids. And sometimes, the “extra,” mundane stuff is enough to make you downright miserable.
If you find yourself wearing the same clothes for days in order to avoid laundry, or stopping by McDonald’s for dinner to avoid dirtying more dishes, it might be time to hire some help.
Your husband is down to his last pair of underwear.
This has happened to me more than once. After working several 12-hour days in a row, I realized that no one in the house had any clean dress socks or underwear for work the next day. So instead of coming home from a long day to relax, I had to spend some late night hours doing laundry instead.
This is a telltale sign that it might be time to outsource something – anything. When you don’t have enough hours in the day to keep basic laundry items clean, something has to give.
Your hourly rate is higher than what you would pay someone.
When you aren’t earning a lot, paying $20-$25 per hour or more for a housekeeper can be out of the question. But, what if you earn considerably more than what you would pay someone else?
This is an important question to ponder if you’re thinking about hiring help. Let’s say you pay $100 per month for a housekeeper to clean your house from top to bottom for four hours. If you invested that time into overtime at your job or your side hustle, could you make that much or more? If the answer is yes, then it definitely makes sense to hire some help.
You’re missing out on quality time with your partner, spouse, or children.
When you work full-time and have a family, sometimes the weekends are all you’ve got left. But, would you rather spend your Saturday afternoon doing something fun with your family – or watching life go by while you deep clean your kitchen and lint roll your couch?
The fact that there are only 940 Saturdays from the time your child is born and the day they turn 18 means you should spend that time making memories. If you spend that time cleaning instead, you could live to regret it.
The Bottom Line
While it’s important to save money for the future, it’s equally important to have a happy life today. And sometimes, that means figuring out what you can and can’t do — and hiring help when you can’t be everywhere at once.
So if you’re struggling to keep up with your to-do list, give yourself permission to at least explore the idea of hiring help. And remember, if always running on empty, it might actually make sense to hire someone to mow the lawn, clean your house, or deliver your groceries.
There are only 24 hours in a day, and it’s up to us to make the most of them. And sometimes, that means being smart enough to realize we need time for ourselves and our families more than anything else.
Do you outsource any of your household tasks?