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Kristy in Waltham, MA @KristyS76

How Often Do You Need a Housekeeper?

Do you need regular help around your home or just seasonal?

There never seems to be enough time to get everything done and it's often the household chores that slip behind. You may need some help from the pros.

By hiring a housekeeper, you can cut down on your stress and gain valuable time with your family. But how often do you need one?

Think about what areas of your home get particularly dirty, how often they need to be cleaned and what fits in your budget. Develop a cleaning checklist to see where you need the most help (use this one for inspiration).

To decide what is best for your situation read on.

Daily
A daily housekeeper works well for busy families with packed days, new parents who are taking care of an infant, working parents who don't have time for household tasks and elderly people who need help with daily chores. When you hire help to come in daily, it's normally for the standard Monday through Friday schedule. They can easily stay on top of all the laundry, vacuuming, dusting, dish washing and basic cleaning, as well as cleaning the often neglected "under and behind" areas.

Weekly or Bi-Monthly
Hiring a housekeeper once a week or every other week is a great option for a family of any size who wants to make sure their home is thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. House cleaners will need more time to get the job done than if they come in daily.

Most families who choose this schedule will make sure all the toys and clutter are picked up beforehand, to allow workers to focus on cleaning the surfaces and not spend time dealing with clutter. They will be expected to vacuum, sweep or mop all the floors, dust, empty the trash, clean bathrooms, bedrooms, the living room and the kitchen. If there's enough time, ask them to change bed and kitchen linens and fold laundry.

Monthly
Even with daily tidying, all homes can use a good monthly deep cleaning. Having help come in on a monthly basis is great way to get the house back on track, as well as tackle less frequent jobs like cleaning the oven, treating bathrooms for mold/mildew, wiping inside the fridge and cleaning window tracks. A once-a-month cleaning will take longer than more frequent services, but it can be tailored to fit the needs of each family.

Occasionally
Holidays and in-law visits are stressful enough without having to wonder if your house will pass a white-glove test. Hiring house cleaners to help prepare for big events or company is a great investment. An occasional cleaning will take a few hours and maybe even more than one cleaner. Let them prepare your house, so you don't have to.

Then once you've decided how often you need a housekeeper, post a job on Care.com. Make sure to interview more than one applicant and check all references. Then your house will be squeaky clean when it needs it most.

Kristy Stevens-Young is a freelance writer in Seattle. Her work can be found here.

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