Hiring vs. DIY Cleaning: What's Your Free Time Worth?

Barbara Bellesi Zito
Updated April 7, 2022
A man with rubber gloves cleaning window with cloth
Photo: dusanpetkovic1 / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • Hiring a professional cleaner typically runs from $120 to $235 on average.

  • You can hire a home cleaning pro for regular cleanings or for a one-time visit.

  • The size of the space and the number of rooms can affect the costs.

  • Many homeowners find it is worth it to pay a professional cleaner because it saves them time and energy.

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Cleaning your home probably takes up a decent chunk of your week. Between sweeping and mopping your floors and dusting pet hair off of your blinds, keeping your home sparkling can feel like a full-time job. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many people hand these tasks off to professionals. 

The average cost to hire a house cleaner is between $120 to $235 on average, varying depending on the size and condition of the space. If you’re considering hiring a pro to clean your home, read on to learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

DIY Cleaning: Pros & Cons

Man cleaning table on living room
Photo: Orbon Alija / E+ / Getty Images

You probably already know that cleaning your home has its ups and downs. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of maintaining a clean and tidy house on your own.

Pros

Clean on your own time. Whether you proudly check off “cleaning” on your to-do list right away or you procrastinate—hey, it happens to the best of us—the good news about cleaning your home yourself is that it’s on your own timeline. 

Want to get up with the sun and start mopping floors? You can do it. Do you prefer to scrub bathroom tiles at midnight? It’s your place, your decision. You could even tackle one room a day if you wanted. The point is, you’re not on someone else’s timeline when it comes to cleaning up your space.

Use your preferred methods and products. Do you prefer to use eco-friendly methods to clean your home? Maybe you’re obsessed with a certain cleaning product’s scent. While you can definitely make these preferences known to the cleaning company of your choice, you have total control of the products you use when you clean on your own. 

If you prefer to use your own cleaning methods, including that DIY hack for cleaning the upholstery from TikTok, then DIY cleaning may be for you.

Enjoy the benefits of physical activity. No one’s saying that vacuuming the carpet will get your blood pumping as much as a 5K run, but dusting does get you up and moving about the house, which is good for your health. If you’re looking for a way to stay active on the weekends and evenings while in the comfort of your own home, cleaning could be the productive task you’re seeking

Cons

It’s hard to make time for it. Our lives seem to get busier and busier. Cleaning is one of those tasks that can easily fall by the wayside, especially if you don’t love doing it. You might have the best intentions when getting around to starting your spring cleaning checklist, but between family and work obligations, you may soon find that it’s summer before you even get to those windows.

It can be overwhelming when you get behind. Messes don’t exactly pause when you take a break from cleaning. Because of this, they can really add up, making your to-do list longer and longer the more you put it off. If you commit to cleaning the house yourself but don’t get to it for a few weekends, it can take you much longer to finish in the end.

It can cost you money, even if it’s DIY. Of course, you’ll still have to buy cleaning supplies if you decide to do it on your own. Crunch the numbers. You might think it makes financial sense to save money and DIY it. However, if you find the cost of supplies plus the loss of your free time comes close to the cost of hiring a cleaning company, that might be the motivation you need to delegate this task.

Hiring Cleaners: Pros & Cons​

Maid cleaning windows of a house
Photo: Thana Prasongsin / Moment / Getty Images

If you’ve never hired a local house cleaning company before, you may not know what to expect. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of hiring professional cleaners for your home:

Pros

It’s off your to-do list. It goes without saying, but here it is anyway: When you hire professional cleaners to clean your home, they do just that. You’ll come home from a long day, and your floors will be swept and mopped, and every surface will be wiped or dusted. It’s the closest thing you’ll ever have to waving a magic wand over the dirt and grime that has accumulated over time and making it vanish. 

It’s done by an experienced pro. Like any service professional, when you hire a house cleaner, you’ll be treated to the work done well and, most likely, done more quickly than you can do. Plus, you won’t have to worry if you’re actually cleaning the sink well enough or if you forgot to clean the light switches for the millionth time: A cleaning pro will tackle all of this and more with a professional touch. 

It may be more affordable than you think. You have many options for hiring local house cleaning pros, making their services fit many budgets. You can hire a cleaner to come on your schedule as few or as many times as you need. 

Keep in mind that if you fall into a routine of having your house cleaned regularly, you might not need a cleaner to come as often. When they do, it won’t take as much time to clean your house, and as a result, the price point may be lower than you think.

Cons

It does cost some money. A clean house is not the result of magic but rather the hard work of skilled professionals. And like other pros, you must pay them for their work. If you are trying to save money or are averse to hiring someone to do something you feel you can do, then money will be your major sticking point.

You’ll need to vet a professional. To hire the right home cleaning pro for you, you’ll need to put in some work up front, which can be a con if you’re particularly busy. You can and should take the opportunity to fully vet any service professional who enters your home. Experienced cleaners will have references that show they are trustworthy pros. 

However, if you’d rather not spend the time right now to hire a pro, you will likely have to do the cleaning yourself.

It still won’t keep you organized if you’re messy. Even though these pros will do the bulk of the cleaning for you, you’ll have to do some level of upkeep. From straightening up toys that are left behind when the kids go to sleep to wiping up spills and pet messes, hiring a pro doesn’t take absolutely everything on your plate, though they’ll certainly help with most of it. 

Depending on how messy or organized you keep your house, you might find that you’re still doing your fair share of cleaning and tidying. Depending on your family’s needs, you may opt to just handle all of the cleaning tasks on your own.

Hiring vs. DIY Cleaning

If you are particular and like having things done exactly the way you want them, then you probably don’t want other people cleaning your house. However, even those who like their pillows arranged just so might relish the idea of delegating the cleaning tasks so they have more time on their hands to do the things they most want to do.

Hiring a cleaner is a no-brainer for those who value a clean and tidy home but don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves. Yes, this will add to household costs, but the satisfaction of a clean home could be well worth it.

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