Monday, September 28, 2015

On Wednesday, the house cleaner is coming.

I'm sort of nervous about it.

I've wanted to hire a house cleaner for a while now. But they're expensive. And you have to clean up before they come. And they get to judge you for being messy.

I am very, very messy. Organized messy, but messy all the same.

My house cleaner's name is Betty. Betty and her daughters clean for my next door neighbor, Janet. Betty came over three weeks ago at my request and took a look around. I don't think she liked what she saw.

She also seemed incredulous that I only wanted her to clean a few areas--the bathrooms, the kitchen and the living room. Clearly this is a house that could use a good cleaning up in every room.

True enough. But I'm not ready to commit to a whole-house cleaning. There are parts of my house that don't get all that dirty, and I don't mind mess. I just mind sticky kitchen floors and icky boys' bathrooms.

So why don't I clean them myself? Because I am a person who can do very little that the spirit does not move her to do. All my self-discipline goes into keeping a daily writing schedule and cooking. After that, I'm blown about by my whims. Sometimes I'm moved to clean, it's true. Sometimes I'm moved to pull all the junk out of Will's room and paint the walls and put up new curtains. Sometimes I'm moved to watch the entire run of West Wing (again) while I work on a quilt. You just can't tell with me.

After Betty inspected my house and decided that she would deign to clean it, I checked in with Janet. Betty scares me, I told her. She scares me too, Janet said. I don't think she approves of how I keep house, I told Janet. I don't think she approves of anything, said Janet. But she's trustworthy and she does a good job.

Betty is going to come every other Wednesday. Travis and I are going to hide in the Man's study while she's here. I hope she does a good job. I hope she doesn't fire me after the first day.


Tracy said...

OK, you have convinced me. I needed to have this conversation with a friend yesterday and I piked out because her house is spotless and not. Fairly tidy (except the kids rooms) but far from clean. This is an "epic fail" area for me. Because exactly like you, I do not do anything that does not move me and cleaning is the very last thing to move me! Spending a day planning my maths or humanities units for the term? I'm there without looking to the left or the right for a whole day of hours and hours in a row! Mr Busy needs to be picked up? Who's Mr Busy? Do I know him? Oh that's why I got to focus so well all Mr Busy present!

I want someone to do floors and bathrooms. That's it. Vac, mop, swipe. About every fortnight seems like it that would be oh-so-often compared to around about never. I think I've mopped once this year. See, epic fail. I'd rather go to work and do something I love so I can outsource the stuff I hate.

I want to offer it to my friend first because she's a SAHM and has just finished up doing twice-yearly exam supervision and has a big gap in her budget. Otherwise there's a young lass at church who does house cleaning between cake decorating. My cleaning schedule is so non-existent that I wouldn't mind if she had to finagle her her schedule around me.

I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

Angela said...

Looking forward to hearing how it goes - BOTH my daughters have recently had cleaners in, because their work schedules are so hectic they do not get time, and when they are at home, they want to relax with their men. But then, they are earning the money to pay cleaners. I have no income of my own at the minute, and am a stay-at-home person [well, when I am not out doing important stuff] so I really OUGHT to do my own cleaning more efficiently. Could I bear the thought of a stranger cleaning my bathroom? or seeing the dust behind the sofa?

Heather F said...

My father recently had a housecleaner come in after a long jaunt in the hospital. I thought I had been doing a decent job keeping his place tidy, but, holy moly, his house was sparkling and spotless after the cleaning lady came. I want her to come to my house for a deep cleaning, but that is kinda my job to do and just thinking about the work involved there makes me want to find a cozy corner with a very good book. Priorities.

Jo said...

Ha ha, I am spending my entire school holidays deep spring cleaning my entire house. Epic, but I am loving the cleanliness and the knowledge that there are now no nasty fossilised oranges behind the sideboard...

BUT maybe I am just procrastinating? You see, you write novels and don't clean. Do you think if I didn't clean I would write a novel??

I had a divine and lovely darling cleaning lady for two years when my youngest was born and I was homeschooling and running a home business very badly. Adele was like a granny to the children, and taught me how to clean, and lots about life besides.

Hope your experiment works out for you:)

Pom Pom said...

This is priceless: Because I am a person who can do very little that the spirit does not move her to do.

When I was a cleaning lady, I loved seeing how people live. Some are so streamlined and others live deeper with more stuff. One lady I cleaned for made soft little cat hideouts all over her house. I found that highly entertaining.
Another lady had a harp!
Our Kelli has two cleaning ladies (I have NONE - no fair!) and most days she just piles everything on the couch and beds so the cleaning expert works around all the "stuff of living".
I have decided that we just need to pare down the work, stripping it to the beautiful simplicity contained in DOING LESS. Shine ONE piece of copper. Dust the top of one dresser. Iron ONE tablecloth. Make ONE perfect bed. It's just too much. YOU are a smart, smart girl to narrow the cleaner's focus to the rooms that need her attention the most. SHE won't judge you. She'll love you.

Gumbo Lily said...

I've thought how nice it might be to have a house cleaner come in even once per month to do the stuff I miss. I clean fairly regularly, but you know there are things like wall washing and carpet cleaning that I really don't want to do at all. I do those kinds of things when the spirit moves me too. I'm a wing-it kind of person. Right now I want to sew on my quilts. Not clean. Let us know how things go with Betty!

gretchenjoanna said...

You have aptly described all the reasons why I need a housecleaner and also the reasons why I haven't wanted one. Things are changing for me, though, and I was considering hiring a particular young woman I know because she's not a total stranger and I trust her, she needs the money, and she has been cleaning houses for ten years. But now she's leaving the country for at least a few months, so... I can stay messy for a while longer.

Nancy McCarroll said...

Guess today is the day you will find out whether you have been fired or not, after the cleaning and after all is said and done.

This topic of handing over one' s abode to another who might see the errors of your untidiness is a humbling experience. And you have the privilege of paying for it, to boot. Stay strong, be brave. Just remember the dust will be removed, a few items might be broken along the way, and that you must clean before the cleaners arrive. It is worth it.