February 26, 2007

Digging Ourselves Out, Day 4

Today's Digging Ourselves Out project is to go read Sundry's post about hiring a housecleaning service and also read the comments, and then spend the rest of the ten minutes thinking about doing the same thing. If it isn't something you can afford, just daydream. If you already have a housecleaning service, think about how awesome it is and how smart you are for having it.

Then, if you can, answer the question I left in Sundry's comments: If you have a housecleaning service, do you feel weird having someone else in your house? Because for me, that's one of the main problems. I'm not worried about someone stealing, I'm worried about someone, you know, being in my house. It makes me feel invaded just thinking about it. What I want to know is, is that something most people feel but you get used to it? or is it that if you feel it, you're probably not going to get over it and should just scrub your own kitchen floor?

Also, a comment I didn't leave but want answered: What does a cleaning service do if there is clutter coating every service? How can they dust the coffee table if they can't get to it?


lisa said...

Hi- I found your blog via Sundry's. I think your writing is funny and you touch on such great topics (like mother-in-laws!!)

The weird feeling of having someone cleaning your house wears off. I mean- I was mortified of the thought of our cleaning lady wash my underwear and then putting them away in my underwear drawer!!! But I got over it (and she folds every pair ever so neatly). My husband is in the military and when he is gone I would have a total breakdown if I had to do all parenting and household duties with no help! For the amount of sanity it gives me it is totally worth the money!

Nellyru said...

Ok, I am a total slob and every flat surface of my house is covered with STUFF. The floors are coated with dog and cat hair and the bathrooms make public restrooms look pretty clean. I was too embarrassed to have anyone over, INCLUDING cleaning people. Plus, I always felt like I would have to clean up the clutter to have them come clean. But you know what? I totally got over it. Now I don't even try to reduce the clutter a little before they get here. Occasionally I manage to pick up some of the toys before they get here, but most of the time they even have to do that before they can get the vacuum around the living room.
So now it's nice because just when the level of filth is getting to an intolerable level, they arrive again. In the meantime, we just barely manage to keep up with the daily stuff. Anyway, I really did just get over the embarrassment after the first few visits...now I just avoid eye contact if I happen to be here when they are cleaning. Heh.

JMH said...

I loved having a cleaning service and I was fine when I was at work during the actual cleaning...to come home to a clean and fresh house is GREAT. However, there were a few times when I had to be home while they were there (maternity leave) and I did feel a bit odd about it. I mean, it made me feel a little bit snobbish:"You there, scrub my floor while I sit here and watch TV" But, I got over it when I paid the bill :)

BTW, since I am one of your "anonymous" commentors (I posted the pb and birdseed in the cookie cutter idea)I thought I should finally give myself an identity. Love your writing...you make me laugh out loud!

Erica said...

I used to have a cleaning lady... way back in the day when I was a wealthy girl. Here are a couple of things I learned:
1. Hire someone you not only trust but feel comfortable with. The lady who did my house was cool. I would've socialized with her. I liked her, you know? That totally lessened the embarrassment.
2. I did a pre-cleaning lady cleaning. Meaning: I picked up the clutter and hid the unmentionables. That way, I didn't need to worry about more embarrassment.
3. Be clear about what you want her/him to do for you. Don't want them to touch your undies? Tell them no laundry, please? Hate cleaning your baseboards like it's poison? Tell them. Once you're all on the same page, it makes it really easy. They know what's expected and you're not upset or disappointed.

I really recommend getting someone, if you can. It'll save you loads of time and energy. It's so much easier to keep things picked up when you know that's all you have to do.

mrsgryphon said...

One of the things I love about having a cleaning lady, is that it forces me to clean up the clutter every 2 weeks! All the toys get put away, the magazines stacked, the kitchen counters cleared off (even if that means just dumping everything into the dishwasher until she's gone!), the beds get made etc. Then, she comes in and does all the "big" stuff - floors, bathrooms, vacuuming, kitchen etc.

As for the weirdness of having someone else in your house - usually, I'm on my way out with the baby when she arrives or else the baby is at daycare and I'm working in the other room... sure, it feels a little indulgent to have someone scrubbing your toilets while you're off to the mall with your kid, but you're paying her fee so that you can have the time to do those things.

I think that as long as you appreciate and take advantage of the extra time, you shouldn't feel the slightest bit weird about it!

p.s. I'm also here via Sundry!

Mimi said...

I have a really nice lady come to my house every other week to do all the deep cleaning. There is nothing I hate worse than scrubbing toilets and showers!

At first I felt totally weird having someone in my house cleaning. I felt guilty like I should be doing it myself, but left to my own devices I wouldn't be doing it myself anyway. For the first bunch of times she cleaned my house, I was actually home playing with my son because I didn't know her very well and didn't feel comfortable leaving her there alone yet. So that was a little weird having her scrubbing my floors when I was in the next room singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or something.

Anyway, I got over my discomfort of her cleaning my house... I figured, she's not uncomfortable about it, so why should I be? Also, I don't feel like she is looking at all my junk because I always do a "pre-clean" before she gets here to get rid of the clutter so she can get to all of those really dirty areas. And I don't have her do my laundry, which feels too personal to me for some reason.

So. To make a long story really long... I think you definetely CAN get over the weirdness of someone else cleaning up your messes, because I sure did!

desperate housewife said...

My mother in law has a cleaning lady, but this cleaning lady has certain requirements for the homes she does- they must be tidy and have all the junk and clutter picked up before her arrival, and then she will do the deep stuff, like dusting, mopping, bathrooms, etc. Of course, MIL doesn't have toddlers underfoot, so picking stuff up is probably not that much of a chore for her.
I'm pretty sure MIL doesn't feel too weird about having someone else scrub her toilet, but I do remember one winter when she broke her ankle and was off work. She told me it did feel a little awkward to be lying in her recliner, unable to even get herself a glass of water, while the "maid" bustled around her!

Kara Marie said...

I'm happy this is being discussed. It's just the two of us now (and the pets) so I keep the house pretty clean. But when I think about our future, which will probably involve children and pets and my painting and my job, I get panic attack-ish thinking about keeping the house at my personal accepted cleanliness level. Sometimes I get panic attack-ish trying to juggle things without kids. It hadn't dawned on me that yes, when we are more financially established I could hire someone! (I'm so bright sometimes.) Just twice a month, or even once, sounds incredibly helpful.

I wouldn't feel weird about having someone come. I would try to pick up clutter before the service came, though, so they could spend more of their allotted time actually sanitizing and cleaning-cleaning. Although. I don't mind putting away clutter, so maybe I'm weird.

nowheymama said...

Hi, I have a question about people in my space, too. Specifically, children other than my own. May I please join the blog chain? My question is in the most-recent entry on my blog, and I'd love some input, Swistle. Or anyone else. Please.

Swistle said...

On my way over, Nowheymama!

Shelly said...

I'm so glad I am not the only one who tidies up before the cleaning lady comes. It's usually the most housework I do, sadly. I figure the less clutter she has to deal with, the more she can focus on making my house clean.

We got our current cleaning person when I was newly pregnant and too sick to stand, let alone clean. Now I can't imagine life without her. I used to feel odd lying like a bump on the sofa while she did all the hard work, but I'm over that now. If I'm home I try to stay in a different part of the house so it isn't too weird.

KLA said...

I also found your blog via Sundry and I really enjoy your writing. I think I have a good perspective on this issue...in college I used to clean houses as a way to make money. I had three regular clients for several years. I always felt uncomfortable when the client was home because even if they were in another room I kind of felt like they were watching to make sure I was doing my job. There was one house that was very cluttery. What I did was put away what I could and organize the rest. Now that I am a mom, I wish I had someone to help out. Unfortunately we can't afford it right now but in the future I will definitely consider it. I wouldn't be embarassed because you know the person cleaning has seen worse! That's what they're there for anyway...if you had a clean house already they wouldn't have a job.