Some 23 per cent of Brits admit hiring a cleaner to do jobs in the home - and mainly due to a lack of time. Would you hire domestic help?
Is hiring a cleaner your dirty little secret? I must admit I've often thought of hiring a cleaner to help around the home.
Okay, so I don't have children, but I have a partner.
And with busy jobs and social lives, finding the time to keep our home spick and span can be, well, a bit of a chore.
So I'm not surprised that almost a quarter of Brits – 23% of the 2,000 adults we polled – admit to hiring a cleaner. In fact, I thought it would be higher.
Too embarrassed to hire a cleaner
However, I've never actually taken the final step because of the cost, and a feeling of unease about not being able to do the job myself.
It appears I'm not alone in my embarrassment: 24% of those we polled - whether they had a cleaner or not - said they would be embarrassed to tell people if they had one.
The overwhelming majority - 78% - of these "embarrassed Brits" said this is because they feared it would make then appear lazy or disorganised.
However, this mindset may be declining, as our poll shows that young people are more upfront about hiring domestic help.
Our poll found that 22 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds have hired a cleaner compared to only 18 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds.
'No time to clean', say Brits
And the reason most people hire a cleaner is due a lack of time. Some 54% of those we polled said they were simply too busy to keep on top of chores at home.
This is where firms like the UK Domestic Cleaning come in. It has 20 franchises across the UK, offering cleaning and de-cluttering services.
Bernadette Hanley, a director at the firm, says:
"We have certainly seen an increase in business, especially from more ordinary families who don't feel they have time to do it themselves.
Cleaning firm: 'Ironing a popular request'
"We've also seen a 30 per cent increase in the number of 18 to 34-year-olds who want our service.
"We most often clean people's bathrooms and do the dusting, but ironing is becoming a much more popular chore we are asked to do now.
"People just don’t seem to like cleaning and they prefer to focus on their lifestyle instead of being bogged down by chores.
Jane Manuel, 62, from Cardiff is a company director for live music entertainment company Applause Productions, and has a cleaner to come to her house once a week.
Case study: 'A cleaner helps with my busy life'
Manuel says: "A couple of years ago I decided to hire a cleaner because I found with a busy lifestyle it was difficult to clean my house to the standard I wanted.
"I also now have grandchildren who come to the house and cause a bit of a mess so it's even more important to have someone to help me.
"I don't expect my cleaner to do all the jobs in my home but there are some tasks which are very time consuming so I find her a big help.
"I would never be embarrassed about telling people I have a cleaner. I think it is a completely normal thing for people to do."
What do you think?
Personally, I’m still undecided about paying someone to clean my home - a job I can just about manage to do myself.
But if your time is more valuable to you than money - and you can look a person in the eye after they’ve scrubbed your toilet, then a cleaner might be a worthwhile expense.
Would you be prepared to hire a cleaner to do your dirty work?
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