A Very Detailed House Cleaning Post
Most people outsource their house cleaning as they get older and have more financial resources, and here I am going the opposite direction.
After 10+ years of having our house professionally cleaned once per month, I've decided to try to tackle this on my own. Due to our having three dogs, the feeling and smell of a perfectly clean house each month lasts about one evening. By the next day, I would say the house feels back to it's normal state. We have paid on average $200/month, so for $2,400 per year, has it really been worth it? I'm not sure.
While I have enjoyed not having to deep clean the big-ticket items (dusting, scrubbing shower in master bathroom, etc.), I still do regular maintenance throughout the week. I also have 700+ hours in my PTO bank at work now, which gives me a lot of freedom to take one day a month off of work to dedicate to this.
To give some background to our specific situation, Brian and I split almost everything in our marriage 50/50 in a traditional sense and we both work full-time. He generally handles the outside/yard, finances, repairs/home renovations, and the dogs' evening routine. I handle most child-related stuff, inside the house (laundry, minor cleaning), grocery shopping/cooking, and the dogs' morning routine. We each obviously step up when needed (e.g. he took over cooking for 2-3 years when Cam was young because I was struggling in this area).
We have a 3,400 square foot house that stays mostly neat in appearance. I would welcome guests anytime without feeling like I need to do any pre-cleaning, but I do typically run the vacuum and light candles if I know guests are coming over. Due to three super-smelly, super-shedding dogs, I have to vacuum multiple times per week. Our home's style is mostly earth tones, masculine, natural materials (wood, stone). It's not white, bright, and light like many houses you see today, which probably helps conceal that it's not squeaky clean. I hate kids toys and plastic junk so we have none of that lying around.
I looked through my phone to find pictures of a "normal" state of our house and honestly our house looks clean in its normal state: