I got my apartment professionally cleaned

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Hey friends! Today I wanted to write a commentary piece about something I did a few months ago. Or rather, didn’t do – clean my apartment!

Cleaning the apartment has always been one of my least favourite things to do. Vacuuming once in a while and throwing out the trash, I can handle. But cleaning the stove, wiping down goo that has somehow accumulated in the fridge, and scrubbing god-knows-what crust is on the countertops is just something I’ve never wanted to do on a regular basis. In the past, I’ve tried to convince myself to do it with various arguments:

  1. Cleaning is supposed to burn calories – it’s like going to a gym with a dual purpose!
  2. Cleaning is considered a relaxing activity, and I’m improving the environment I live in, which is really a form of self-care.

But no matter what mind games I tried to play with myself, it was always one of the chores that got left behind, with me occasionally looking in despair at the mounting grossness accumulating in corners before willing myself to forget/ignore the grime.

As life started to get increasingly busy and I thought about things I could automate to make it a bit easier on myself, cooking and cleaning were at the top of the list. We’ll discuss cooking another day; that deserves a whole other post of its own. For cleaning, I decided it was time to try a cleaning service.

What had put me off from getting a cleaning service at the beginning was the cost. I was raised to never pay for something if I could do it myself, and cleaning has always seemed like the ultimate DIY task. But lately, I’ve started thinking about activities in terms of their opportunity cost. While the time I spent cleaning wouldn’t necessarily be used to work to make more money, I did have precious little free time, which should be more valuable to me than… well I decided I’d take a look at how much these cleaning services cost before making a decision.

Shopping around

To try the service out, I was going to ask for a deep one-time clean. I figured I could use this as a sort of “spring cleaning” task I was outsourcing. I’m located in downtown Toronto, so I looked at two options: Merry Maids and Molly Maid. Here’s the quote I was given for both, as well as additional instructions:

Merry Maids:

  • 1 cleaner, who would bring their own supplies
  • Estimated cleaning time: 2.5 hours
  • Price: $237.23 (this excluded HST, but I didn’t think about that until later)
  • Since I live in a small apartment, it was recommended I stay out of the house during the cleaning time. It was fine to keep our dog in the house.

Molly Maid:

  • 2 cleaners, who would bring their own supplies
  • Estimated cleaning time: 1.5 hours
  • Price $146 + HST per hour (assuming 1.5 hours, this would work out to $247.47)

Merry Maids won out mostly due to the marginal price difference (although this ended up being a mistake on my part, as their price did not include HST), and the fact that they gave me more detailed instructions on what to expect via the phone.

The cleaning experience

Since Merry Maids had mentioned that I should probably step out during the cleaning, I decided to work from the office that day and did not observe the actual cleaning. My boyfriend (and the dog) stayed home, so the following details are just what he told me happened:

One cleaner came in and stayed for the promised amount of time. The main focus areas were the kitchen and bathroom (thank goodness, because I rarely clean anything in those two rooms, and they’re probably the ones that get the dirtiest), and they were very efficient with their time. They first sprayed down all areas where the cleaning product had to sit and soak before getting to work on other areas of the apartment.

From my perspective, it was amazing getting to walk home to a clean house, just like magic. If I lived alone, I’d feel comfortable allowing security to let the cleaner in and have them do their thing while I was at work (maybe I’d take a picture of the house before I left as proof for the cleaning service if anything did happen).

Would I do this again?

I definitely think I’d want to get a deep clean like this at least once a year. I’m not sure I could justify a monthly or weekly expense right now, but maybe in the future. Merry Maids did mention that if a routine cleaning rather than a deep cleaning were requested, you would have to buy all the cleaning products yourself so the cleaning staff wouldn’t have to lug everything over all the time.

I hope this post was informative for anyone who might be looking to hire a cleaning service. I think one of the life lessons I learned in 2022 was that it is ok to spend money you’ve earned to simplify your life.

Thanks for accompanying me on this journey and I’ll talk to you guys next time!

Bye for now,


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