Is a Maid Worth the Money?

I’m a 27-year-old guy who lives in a 700-square-foot apartment. Vacuuming the entire place takes me 15 minutes. Cleaning the bathroom (including the dreaded toilet) takes 20 minutes. Scrubbing the kitchen is another 20. If I dust, which is rare, tack on 15 minutes more.

Add up the time spent polishing the table, changing the sheets, cleaning the inside of the microwave, scrubbing the bathtub, and cleaning the stove, and I’m spending two hours a week to clean my small apartment.

What are two hours worth to me? Well, my employer (thankfully) thinks that I’m worth more than $20 per hour. And to me, my free time is even more precious. I don’t want to waste it cleaning. So I recently decided to hire a maid. Here’s what happened, and what I learned…

Finding a maid

There are three ways to go here:

  1. Maid company – locally owned or part of a chain, you get a maid dispatched from headquarters.
  2. Maid referral service – these national companies have contacts with local independent contractors .
  3. Solo maids – individuals who work for themselves and often get work through word of mouth or websites like Craigslist.

Maid companies and services abound, with peppy names like Maid Brigade, Merry Maids, and Molly Maid. All are just an Internet search away. Most maid companies and referral services are bonded and insured – they boast about this on their websites. They also tout their screening process for maids. (Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how one small company hires its maids.)

But individual maids will most likely come cheaper, since there’s no office overhead. That’s the route I went…

Paying a maid

My friend knew a maid that had the two characteristics most important to me: She was local and trustworthy (since maids will be alone with your valuable and personal possessions).

I paid $60 for the initial visit and $40 per follow-up visit. Since my place needed a good, deep clean, the initial $60 didn’t worry me. And $40 after that seemed like a good deal – based on how long it takes to clean the apartment myself and the value of my time, I was breaking even having the maid do the cleaning for me. Factor in my hatred of cleaning, and $40 was a real bargain.

Whether you hire a local solo maid or from a referral from a national service, make sure you do the following before sealing the deal…

  1. Get an estimate. Many maids and maid services will insist on a visit before giving a firm price. But you can at least get ranges via phone or e-mail, which helps you narrow your choices.
  2. Ask questions. It’s not insulting to inquire about your maid’s background. While services will provide background checks, your local solo maid probably won’t. That’s why a good review from friends or family is so important. Even without a background check, you can chat about how long they’ve been in the business and in the area.
  3. Ask about a referral discount. Some maids and maid services offer a discount for a referral, either to you, the person who hooked you up, or both. In my case, that didn’t happen. Still, can’t hurt to ask.

Was it worth it?

In a word, yes. She cleaned much better than I did, and I learned to spread out my maid visits. I ultimately scheduled follow-ups every other month, because I found I could do minimal cleaning on my own that would keep my apartment from descending into disgustingness but not consume too much of my precious free time.

In fact, I’d still be using a maid if I hadn’t moved from my own small apartment to a bigger one with a roommate who doesn’t mind cleaning as much as I do – so he refuses to split the cost with me. Since I’m a frugal guy, I refuse to subsidize the cleaning of his half of the apartment – and not surprisingly, maids don’t offer discounts for half an apartment.

I now look back fondly on the time I was cleaning up without getting cleaned out.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

The 10 Best Outdoor Home Upgrades for Your Money
The 10 Best Outdoor Home Upgrades for Your Money

There’s still time this summer to make improvements to the exterior of your home. These offer the best payback.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

8 Surefire Ways to Get Rid of Debt ASAP
8 Surefire Ways to Get Rid of Debt ASAP

Here’s how to pay off debt fast and pain-free.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021
7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021

These projects will take a bigger bite out of your budget than in the recent past.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.