I liked reading all your comments last week on this post about whether or not you get a cleaner in, or if you clean your house. I think the general conclusion was that if you had the money, and the person was reliable and did a great job then OF COURSE you will. DER.

I was listening to Airlie Hochschild, a US sociologist out in Australia for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas on the radio the other day who was talking about the notion of outsourcing. The brave new world in which we all live now means that more often than not every transaction we make, every THING we do now has us as a “client”. We can outsource someone answering our emails, ask our phones where we should eat dinner, have life coaches help us be successful and get the most out of lives, have nannies and others raise our children. While all this might be a little out of the league of you and I, having someone come in and clean our house once a fortnight, or do our ironing, or come and entertain our kids during their birthday party are things that we might consider – given the financial ability to do so of course. We now have a ‘frictionless society’ where problems are solved, communities and families/friends not used and while things are done, are we happier because of that?

For me, I use a cleaner. Once a fortnight. Because I work, and have chosen to use ย some that money to have someone come and clean my bathroom better than I ever could. Or would want to. I’ve not ever heard one of my kids or husband comment on the clean toilet bowl, or shower screen before, even when I have worked up a sweat to gte them clean. Have you? We have Graeme come every 6 months or so to do hedges down the side of our driveway and down the back that we can’t quite get to. And today? Well Frank came and cleaned the SHIT out of my oven. See?

Before: (what can I say I cook a lot of pork belly)

O1 O2 O3 O4

And after: DEAR GOD AFTER! Have you EVER?

O5 O10 O9 O8 O7

I didn’t actually know that you could get someone to come and clean your oven. And not just using a bit of Mr Muscle. I’m talking a DEEP cleanse of your oven – doors taken off, extractor fans removed, cleaned and replaced, grills and wire racks cleaned back to new. Dear lord tell me someone who likes cleaning their own oven? No one. I’m sure of it. If outsourcing looks like this, then I am IN.

But what about the other stuff? If you have someone come and mow the lawn, you miss out on that beer that you have afterwards when you sit back, survey your hard work and pay yourself ย on the back for a job well done. You can’t feel the pride you can in a row of freshly pressed shirts all hanging just so on their hangers. It’s a tricky one – people work hard and don’t have a choice often, because they are just so time poor. Why would you want to attempt something that someone professional could do? Why would you waste your valuable weekend family time doing menial chores just to keep a household running? Does outsourcing take away the simple joys and actual hard work that humans need in their lives?

I’m not sure. I do know that Graeme can do the hedges on the back of his truck better than Rob and I could ever attempt to. Our marriage is better for not having those fights that would inevitably come up if we did. But then…the times when we have got stuck into a really big job in the garden, worked together as a team, the kids seen us working hard because we had to and felt great afterwards that we accomplished something we never thought we could have, well that’s missing now isn’t it?

I’m not sure that anyone would even notice a clean oven in our house. I do, I use the bloody thing every day. It needs a service, just as the car does, and I’m never going to attempt to service our car. Best leave it up to Frank don’t you think? Might be the best $236 I have EVER spent in my life.

What are your thoughts on outsourcing?
Have we all become lazy? Or just smart?


  1. Vivian Sommerich says

    I have been dreaming of having my oven cleaned – I think I may FINALLY do it!

  2. PinkPatentMaryJanes says

    Does Frank travel? I cannot SEE through my oven door. My oven is supposedly ‘self-cleaning’ which is a load of bollocks! I’m happy to pay for something that’ll give me time to do enjoyable stuff.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Google it. There are many Franks – all over the country. You NEED to do it x

      • PinkPatentMaryJanes says

        I found Kristof, the new love of my life, who cleans ovens in my town. He’s just been, and oh my – the shininess! The CLEANESS! He said pork belly’s the greatest offender when it comes to grotty ovens. One day I’ll cook again in mine. My shiny. My precious.

  3. After getting my hand stuck in the lawn mower and spending three days in and out of emergency outsourcing is definitely on my list.

  4. Rachael Wise says

    We have a lawnmower man- and I have recently hired a fortnightly cleaner. My hubby works away 3 weeks at a time, we have a 2.5yo daughter and are expecting twins. I am a SAHM and probably should be able to factor in cleaning, however having that cleaner come has been amazing and glad I decided on getting one. What hubby spends on a slab of beer or two- I get a nice clean house so there is really no reason why I don’t feel guilty. :))

  5. We do everything ourselves and outsource NOTHING. My husband loves mowing the lawn and gardening like nobody’s business so he would never get someone else to do it. He stands back and admires his freshly cut grass and weeded garden once a week with a cold beer. I’m a bit like that with the house cleaning, I love the feeling when it’s all done. Plus cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the floors are a great workout since I’m no exercise junkie!
    My husband works 50 hours a week and we’ve got 3 kids under 7 so I don’t know how we get it all done but we just do.

  6. That oven! Wow.

    I need to start outsourcing, but I’m very bad at it. I’m a bit of a control freak. If you didn’t know that already.

    I just want someone to man my emails. I actually like cleaning and don’t really like when I get someone to do it. I’ve tried, but they never do it right.

    I might need to get a life.

  7. Just. Like. New!
    I say outsource to those who can do a far superior job ie oven cleaning (der), brow shaping, spray tanning. Surely it’s just our contribution to keep the economy going!?!

  8. Nothing wrong with a bit of outsourcing, if you can afford to do it why the hell not?Being a SAHM I do the cleaning myself but I want a gardener to come in and sort out the beds in the garden as they are shocking! It’s my job and I refused to do it while pregnant and now with the bub I don’t have time. I figure paying for them to get sorted out will mean we can actually keep on top of them after it. The only other thing we will start to outsource is a baby sitter so we can have date nights and that is something I am soooo looking forward to ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. musingsofamartin says

    no words.

    the tarp and drop sheets scare me a little though. did you have to ‘deep clean’ the kitchen when he left???

    pity the fool that cooks the next pork belly in that oven. #splattermarks Just sayin.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I refuse to cook in it ever again. Simple! No, he had all that stuff to make sure there was NO mess. Legend!

  10. Jay - Moodie Foodie says

    Smart. Definitely smart…..

  11. Hold me back… I could kiss that oven. I had a lady clean my house last week but I just don’t know. With the guilts I feel (I should just bloody do it) and the house smelling faintly like wet dog (she used her own cleaning stuff) I wasn’t sold. Have the number of another lady recommended by a friend. Maybe I’ll call ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Rebekah Sullivan says

    I just bought some all natural, chemical free oven cleaner (Thermo recipe) at our school fete because my oven is looking a little like yours was (ok, a lot!). Cost me $4. Hope it works, but secretly wishing I was spending $236 to get your Frank in to do it for me. Tried a weekly cleaner for a while when I had 5 kids under 5, but she never quite reached my standards (meaning I didn’t want to have to re-wash the floors after she left). But I did like the way she folded our toilet paper. Would probably use a cleaner again in the future if they came highly recommended by friends.

  13. Lisa Mckenzie says

    This is something I would have done,how your oven shines Beth all that clean glass on the doors! Beautiful,I would pay someone to clean my house but I don’t work so I cannot justify it.My son who is a landscaper does out hedges and our gardens for us but I figure he lives here for free so it is payment in kind.
    I think outsourcing is a great idea and especially if you can swap jobs ,like say someone is good at cooking and another crap at washing you could swap jobs with some people ,just an idea for a small community that could work if enough people got on board and they could all do jobs they actually liked!

  14. Kirsty Michalzik says

    When I go back to work next year I’ll hire a cleaner and a gardener again fo sho! Even before having a baby, my husband and I didn’t spend any of our minimal time off work cleaning or doing yard work. I hate that shit.

  15. Gibbergunyah says

    You will laugh but I clipped out Frank’s ad on Wednesday and popped it on the noticeboard. I just went and checked to make sure it was the same guy. Now I’ve seen evidence of his fine work I might be tempted. When I get back to work from maternity leave, that is, and actually earn some money!

  16. I work each day in our business. I have a lady clean through every Friday (my Friday Fairy). I tidy through and make sure everything is put away, beds made, kitchen spotless, then she cleans – bathroom, toilets, ensuite, all tiled floors (lots) are vacuumed them mopped, carpets in all bedrooms are vacuumed.
    She will hang out/bring in a load of washing if needed too. I get home from work, the house smells fresh and is totally spiffy. $40 well spent.

  17. Wow! I would love an oven clean like that! I never ever clean my oven. When we move apartments we pay for a professional cleaner and that’s the only time the oven ever gets cleaned. We now own an apartment so I might have to rethink that strategy.

    I think your views on outsourcing depends on what you are happy to pay money for. My mother in law gets great pleasure from gardening so doesn’t value paying someone to do it. My mum loves ironing (she irons underwear!) so she wouldn’t outsource that. I see people out in the sunshine washing their cars all the time. Where as I would happily pay for someone to do all those things. Actually, I just don’t bother to iron at all. We are one very wrinkly family.

    I would LOVE a cleaner as it’s one of the big areas of argument between my husband and me. He won’t let me get one at the moment though as I’m full time stay at home mum. Apparently housework is my job. One day I will have a cleaner! For now I’ll just have to live with a slightly messy house.

  18. On of the few thing I miss about city living is the oven clean man! GAH, we made a sea change to the country and I love it, but gawd I wish someone would take up an oven clean franchise. Best thing in the world. No matter what, you will just never clean an oven again, brilliant!

  19. Today the cleaner is coming and it’s Friday. Ticking ALL the boxes!

  20. This week I had the ironing lady, cleaning girls, pool guy, lawn guy, and babysitter. Wait…what did I do?? Plenty of other work!

  21. Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo says

    I work outside the home, have a kid with a disability and chronically ill. Yet I was STILL trying to do it all. I just outsourced our meals. BEST DECISION EVER. Anyone that gives you shit for this is CLEARLY a fucking saint. They are all martyrs aren’t they?

  22. A Farmer's Wife says

    I am a fan of outsourcing. I work in town as well as do farmer’s wife stuff so I have a cleaner and a gardener who does the heavy work once a fortnight. There still seems a lot to do the rest of the time though which falls to me! I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about having help and very rarely have time to feel lazy.

    There was an oven cleaning man but he left his business. It was a sad, sad day….!! No matter how hard I try I can’t get my oven as clean as he did.

  23. 26 Years & Counting says

    I don’t think there’s a problem with outsourcing specific non-personal tasks. It’s when people (or companies, for that matter) outsource things that are best taken care of on a personal, quality-controlled level, that outsourcing becomes a problem. I would LOVE to have a cleaner!


  1. […] last time I cleaned my oven (so my blog tells me) is November 2013. Yep, we’re looking at 15 months here. That’s a whole lot of […]

Speak Your Mind