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Top 10 Tasks Around the House That You Should Never Pay Someone Else to Do

Updated on September 19, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Born in the 1950s in Yorkshire where she still lives this English woman has a keen interest in politics, travel, music and animal welfare


Wouldn't it be great to have enough money so that you could pay someone else to do all the dirty, mundane and loathsome jobs around the home?

On face value the answer has to be a resounding YES but when you give the matter closer consideration wouldn't there be some tasks you would rather do yourself?

Anyway why pay someone if you can get the jobs done for free?

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When you think about it paying someone to do your household chores could be a nightmare. If you will not be home the person in question must be trustworthy, in every sense of the word.

Upset the person responsible for cleaning and you could find that your face flannel has been used to clean the toilet bowl and your toothbrush the drain!

With a quick rinse afterwards how would you know that this was the case? So remember not to upset someone who you trust with such tasks.

As for the top 10 tasks around the house that you should NEVER pay someone else to do, these are not easy. However having given the matter some thought these are what I have come up with.

Cook for you

You may think that cooking for you would not be a problem. However we have heard and read about restaurants where the employees have urinated in soup, spat into yogurt and worse. Unless you are 100% certain that you can trust the person avoid this one like the plague.

Washing your underwear

No matter how clean a person you are your underwear should be a private affair. Some lingerie is expensive and delicate and needs extra love and care when being laundered. Even if you choose to wear big knickers that are nothing fancy do you want a stranger handling the goods? I think not.

So do not run the risk of offending someone or enabling a person to know the intricate details of your smalls, or perhaps they are bigs?

Do the job yourself.

If you buy throwaway or edible underwear laundry will be a thing of the past. This could be true for doing dishes too but how much do paper plates cost, I wonder?

Free tasks

Then again there are tasks that are a case of why pay someone to do them when you can get them done for free? Here are a few:

  • Window cleaning.Cleaning the outside windows is not difficult. It can be a pain at times but NEVER pay someone to clean them for you. If you do you will find that the window cleaner will clean the glass come hell or high water. You will probably arrive home from work to be told by your window cleaner that he cleaned the windows, even though the heavens have been open all day. How you can prove if this is true or not? Window cleaners have a living to make and so they need to visit every couple of weeks, like it or not. Clean them yourself as the weather permits.
  • Weeding your garden. Turn all or part of your garden into a meadow. Plant wildflowers and let weeds and seeds flourish. This will attract birds and bees and other wildlife plus your garden will become the interest of the neighbourhood. It may be an eyesore for the first few months or even years so it could be advisable to put up a warning sign or notify the neighbourhood watch group of your plans.
  • Watering a garden. Install a water butt to harvest rainwater then link a few rainwater barrels together and add tubing so that the garden can self-water. With a little ingenuity your garden will be well watered with no effort, even if you are away on vacation.
  • When you think about it there are quite a few jobs in the garden that you should not pay someone to complete. Pruning trees or cutting back branches could give free fuel for the winter. Advertise free wood for anyone with a real fire. When they arrive tell them that it is free as long as they cut the wood themselves. Bingo. Job done.
  • Never pay someone to clean your carpets. Instead ask for a home demonstration from the retailer of an expensive carpet cleaner. With a little skill on your part your carpets will be cleaned for free. Simply say that you will need time to decide whether to buy or not after the demonstration and then forget about it.
  • Similarly try a different retailer when you want your sofa or other furniture cleaning. If you pick a pricey piece of equipment the retailer will probably be happy to offer a home demonstration.
  • If you have laminate flooring or a similar surface do not pay someone to clean them. Simply tie fluffy cloths around your slippers and dust the floor as you move about. Take care if the surface is polished or slippery though as it may be fun skating about the floor as you clean but a broken leg or worse is not advisable.
  • NEVER pay someone to paint the door and windows frames of your home. Instead ensure that any home you move into has UPVC frames already installed which are almost maintenance free.

Be imaginative and think about just what household chores you should not have to pay for. Some are just so basic that between the family members they should be easy to share out. Other chores probably do not need doing as often as currently.

As a final free clean consider applying to be part of a TV show such as How Clean Is Your House.

Bear in mind though that you will have to let your home become filthy before the show’s producers select you to take part.

After all a fairly clean home is not entertainment.

Think about other home make-over shows and see if you can apply. If you are lucky you will be able to have your home re-designed and modernized for free.

Finally if you have lots of money, how about buying new before you need to clean or maintain? This could work for ovens, fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and more.

As far as paying someone to repair a dishwasher that originally cost less than 200 dollars, will it really be cost effective?

© 2010 Ethel Smith


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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I'd just love the luxury of being able to do that Dolores lol.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, Ethel - so funny but so true. With a cleaner, or anyone who is in your home, the first thing is trust on both parts. Paying someone well sure helps buy loyalty. You trust the cleaner to be honest, not to cheat or steal from you and the cleaner trusts that you will be fair. It can be a wonderful relationship.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks girls. I wish I could afford a cleaner. Maybe one day. My windows are a little crusty right now :)

    • 2patricias profile image


      10 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Very entertaining, with some good points. Both of us employ a cleaning lady - in fact, the same cleaning lady. She has worked for us for a long time and is 100% honest and sometimes she does other jobs for us as well.

      Pat lives so close to the sea that a window cleaner would be a waste of money. Tricia does pay a window cleaner - and her house does seem much brighter inside. (Maybe its because her windows aren't crusted with salt.)

      Tricia owns a carpet cleaner, and Pat occasionally borrows it to burn calories (and improve the appearance of her carpets).

      Fun hub - thanks.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks woodmarc

    • woodamarc profile image

      Marc Woodard 

      11 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      You are absolutely right about cooks defiling food. I witnessed this as a dishwasher in a country kitchen during one of my many job experiences as a teenager. I couldn't believe people would actually do this stuff, but they do. Haven't thought about this kind of thing for so many years. Thanks for the memories;] I also enjoyed your self help and home cleaning suggestions to save money.

    • Angelllite profile image


      11 years ago from United States

      Funny and true!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      It was a little tongue in cheek in parts though

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 

      11 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Nice practical Hub! I do my own indoor painting (doors, walls, etc.).

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Ah so kids have some uses Katie lol. Thanks for dropping by

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      I do it all even clean my own carpets and that's a great idea you have... I love this review of the top 10 task around the house you should never pay to get done. I too pay my kids to go above and beyond on some chores. :)

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for dropping by yout two. Lori as long as it is the husband and only kisses (;-)

    • Wanderlust profile image


      11 years ago from New York City

      Carpet cleaning demonstration - what a great idea! Thank you! Well, you can have a cook if it is a very good cook, I absolutely don't mind it. As for windows, when you live on an apartment building, a proffessional help is unavoidable....

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I'm lucky, I don't have to pay someone to clean my house -- my husband does it all! :-) Or does it cound that I pay him in kisses? Tee-hee.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Now that sounds a good idea Holle. As for strangers handling my harvest festivals, all is safely gathered in, kinckers. No way Jose

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      11 years ago from Georgia

      Too funny, yet true! I don't want stangers handling our undies. sometimes I pay my girls to clean and wash when they want extra money.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      What a shame Izzy. Pity you could not have utilised the kids instead.

    • IzzyM profile image


      11 years ago from UK

      What an interesting idea for a hub! And yes it is so true - there are a load of things you wouldn't want someone else doing for you! I remember these lads coming to my door and claiming to be gardeners and for a few pounds they'd tidy my overgrown garden up. The kids were small at the time and I was a hassled mum, so I agreed. I nearly wept when I saw the damage they'd done! They ripped out garden plants along with the weeds, including a 3 foot pear tree I'd grown from seed. Never again!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Polly and Hello.

      HH you should never upset the waiter in a restaurant, just in case :)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      11 years ago from London, UK

      Gosh, does that really happened? Even if you hate that person you wouldn't stoop that low?

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 

      11 years ago from UK

      Hi Ethel - I enjoyed reading this hub! Very lighthearted for the time of night. I quite agree that I absolutely would not want someone else to wash my underwear! In fact, I don't mind washing at all - in these days of modern washing machines it's quite an easy and non taxing job. Cooking, however - now that's another story. I'm not sure...I really, really hate cooking dinner, it's right at the wrong time of day,and is always the last thing I feel like doing, especially with my little one moaning around my feet and sometimes having to cook more than one thing (I know, I know, I made the rod for my own back!!) I wouldn't mind someone doing it for me as long as they did it EXACTLY as I wanted, as I am quite fussy..and I might want to keep an eye open over their shoulder!

      Totally agree about not paying anyone to clean carpets; floors; prune bushes; paint doors etc....but I will admit to having a window cleaner (he lives up the road and only charges me £1.50 though, so I feel it's worth it!)

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Lol thanks Mick

    • MickS profile image


      11 years ago from March, Cambridgeshire, England

      Yep Ethel, just about right there.




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