Friday, 3 June 2011

Cleaning up for the cleaner

Image from here
I am one of those tragic people who has to clean for their cleaner. It isn't 'cleaning' exactly, rather tidying, but it is always has to be done. Afterall, I don't want my cleaner to spend her two hours picking up the toys off the floor, rather than sweeping and vacuuming them now would I?

I always find it stressful when she is coming (once a fortnight in case you were wondering) but I don't want to give her up (although the money would be better used somewhere else at the moment!).

When I found out I was having twins, one of the first things I did was start a 'cleaner fund'. Never having been a fan of the mop and bucket, I figured that having someone come and clean the floors and bathroom and dust the shelves once a fortnight would be money well spent.

I don't think I realised how integral it would become in my life.

The fortnightly cleaning visit is like hitting the 'reset' button. Everything finds its way back to its home, all the surfaces are cleared and even the piles of washing get folded AND put away. For one afternoon a fortnight my house looks like I wish it would all the time. Ah. The bliss.

Within three hours of the cleaner leaving however, someone inevitably spills their juice all over the floor, someone else brings a spade load of sand from the sandpit and drops it on the loungeroom rug and the afternoon tea preparation messes up the kitchen benches again. It isn't meant to be, I think to myself.

But those few hours, before the chaos comes, those are three of the best hours of my fortnight. A decluttered, sparkling clean home.

My cleaner cancelled twice this week. She was coming on Monday but was ill and rescheduled and then cancelled today. I cleaned up for her twice! Stressed myself and the rest of the household twice, but alas, she couldn't come. I took full advantage of the work I had done this morning and vacuumed and mopped the floors while the twins have been having a sleep. The place looks great. But it isn't the same.

Someone else's cleaning efforts are always more appreciated than my own.

Do you have a cleaner or do you clean your own house? What is your best tip for getting more out of a clean house? How do you stretch your cleaning mileage?

23 comments:

A Christy Production said...

I do all the cleaning. That's why the house is always a mess. I haven't mopped in... oh wait, I can't even remember the last time. I'm never home and I don't care!!! I sweep occasionally, but I do vacuum once a fortnight, which is pretty often for me. I don't have a set day I clean the bathroom, I clean it when it's dirty, same with my sheets. Don't get me wrong, I don't live in filth, afterall it's only husby and I and we are both clean people, but seriously... who wants to mop every day if they don't have too? I certainly don't!!!

Anyway, I'm jealous that you have a cleaner, and I would clean up for the cleaner too.

I talk too much.

Suzi said...

A cleaner would be nice... but I would clean for the cleaner too and can't justify the expense at the moment.

purplegiraffes said...

I absolutely have a cleaner. I strongly believe that (if you can afford it) life is too short to clean toilets unless you're getting paid to do so. When I lived in Australia I had a cleaner come every fortnight. The house was pretty feral the day before her arrival, and I did have to tidy up for her. Now I live in China and we have an ayi (same thing) come to us three days a week! We never wash dishes or clothes or iron anymore. It is fabulous - and I'll be in for a shock when we move back to Australia. But I'll still have a fortnightly cleaner. I'd rather sacrifice dinners out and a few cups of coffee so I can afford a cleaner. For me it is such a priority.

Diminishing Lucy said...

I sacked ours.

When the kids became that little bit less chaos, and I was a little more in control, I realised I could do a better job.

Dare I say, I prefer doing it myself?!

We used to have a cleaner, for years, who came once a fortnight to iron & clean. Heart of gold. Became a friend of the family. Who started to slack off a bit....to the point that she took the piss...

When Lexie goes to school and I take on more work, I may look at getting another cleaner...but I shall be a tougher boss next time round!

Toni said...

I don't have one (yet).

My best tip is to have a big house! with LOTS of storage! I lived in a shoebox with 3 kids for a few years and it was always cluttered and I could never get it really clean.

Sam-O said...

On cleaner day I make sure the playroom floor is clear, just so things go in the right places. I put the towels in the washing machine so the bathroom gets a thorough clean. I don't sweep or do anything else. It is the one day I don't make beds or clean up after breakfast.

I have had my cleaner for 4 years and I have no secrets from him. He gets upset if I do anything other than what I mentioned as I am "a very busy woman" - he's gorgeous! I wouldn't even do the toy pickup if I knew he'd put everything in the correct spot.

MultipleMum said...

Thanks for your comments. Maybe my cleaner is too high maintenance? Or maybe I am trying too hard? It definitely feels better to have a thorough clean up before she comes. I just wish I wasn't so stressed out about it! x

karlyn Jackson said...

I hear you! I start "cleaning" for the cleaner the night before so I can leave the house on the school run and not return until the house is sparkling......by the time the school bags hit the floor, afternoon tea and dinner is served the place looks like it did yesterday. Today is my cleaning day and I do love having that tiny window of pure clean, it certainly doesn't last the week end. x

Shelley said...

I clean my Shoebox - the best thing about it is its size. But I also clean a large two storey house five days a week - part of the joys of being a nanny is that I end up being a housekeeper and cook to boot. They do have a cleaner once a fortnight. She comes next Monday, and yes, today I was mopping the floors and cleaning the windows before her arrival. Perhaps I'm just a tight arse (actually, I know I am), but I don't think I could justify it for My Shoebox. x

therhythmmethod said...

I clean my own house. It's never all clean at once, I do it bit by bit, and once I complete a full lap, it's time to start at the beginning again. It's a pain, but I'm too weird about having a cleaner. I know I would stress about having the place tidy before the cleaner arrived. I can't justify being apologetic about the state of my house to someone I am paying to help me.
I try to declutter everyday. I have a special basket to put all the bits that have no home, then take time at some point in the week to empty the declutter basket and put stuff away. In reality, the house is only tidy when all the kids are asleep. *sigh*
If I worked in paid employment, I would definitely consider a cleaner.

Kymmie said...

Oh, so lovely. I am the cleaner at my place. And often I wonder if we could afford a cleaner, but we find that our money is spent on other things. Like food. Nothing extravagent.

But I understand the need to clean before the cleaner comes! Ironic really. xx

Sarah said...

I have a cleaner who comes once a fortnight or a month if she is too busy. She helped my mum for years and now helps me. She is a like a member of the family and I love her dearly. Like you, I spend lots of time tidying up before she arrives. It makes it easier for her and is a good way for teaching the kids to be a bit organised themselves.

Cathy said...

I so wish I could have a cleaner...if only for my floors and bathrooms - I'll do the dusting, washing and ironing. But I'd feel funny about a cleaner and like everyone else I would probably try and clean up before the cleaner arrived too...so stupid really...why do we do that? I suspect it's a guilt thing. Hmmm...still dreaming about a cleaner.

Naturally Carol said...

Hi..I muddle through myself with some help from my two grownup boys here and my daughter in law..we are a grown up household so it's not too bad! I think I would pick up stuff too..and let the housekeeper get on with cleaning bathrooms and toilets etc..the stuff I hate doing. Have a lovely weekend.

mummabear1970 said...

we had a cleaner about 14 years ago when baby #1 was little. she used to come each friday. it was such a wonderful feeling to walk into a clean house after a week's worth of work. on thursday, hubby & i would clean up, ready for the cleaner to come next day. yes, it really does sound absurd, doesn't it? when i dropped back to part time work, we didn't need her anymore and i don't seem to have had the spare money since......maybe one day?!

Olusola said...

I have and love my cleaner. I go into stress mode if I have a major house-dirtying event between here biweekly visits. TO increase my clean house mileage, I keep my hair dyeing activities for the weekend before her visits and I try to clean the stovetop every other night :)

Leah - Bogue Living said...

I've never had a cleaner though I have been one! It is not bad work and something I would do again.

Unless I was incapacitated I wouldn't get one because cleaning for the cleaner (me) is the bit I hate the most. Especially with kids around. I actually like the cleaning once the tidying is finished.

I would totes pay someone to do the daily kitchen cleaning and picking up if I could afford that! And cook!

On Friday afternoon I sit back and enjoy the clean expanse of floor before they get down to the busy work of mucking it all up again. Takes every ounce of my my self control not to twitpic a picture of a clean toyless floor every time LOL

Cate said...

I do have a cleaner, she comes once a week. And I hate it. But I need it. She is so nice - but I hate the cleaning up for her. I hate the never being able to find anything. I hate the never doing it quite right thing. But I need her to sweep the stairs and vacuum, oh and clean the bathrooms, because right now I'm just not home enough to get those things done. And when I am at home the last thing I want to say is "not now honey, mummy can't read with you, she has to mop the toilet floor".
So I keep her.
xxxCate

DancingInTheRain said...

An interesting read as I have finally decided to get some help around the house. With three small children we decided that it was the season to get some help, just till I dont have to do it while carrying a child on my hip! We are starting off with once a month and will see how it goes.

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

cleaning... waaay down on the list unfortunately. I usually get as far as tidying and then it's time to do something else. maybe tomorrow...

1000 Homes of Happiness said...

ahhh, love this post! We have a cleaner. She comes once a fortnight and I hate the night before she comes. I am frantic cleaning before she arrives, making sure the floors are clear of toys, that she can actually get into the laundry and that bathrooms are not covered in clothes. I love coming home after work to a clean house and the fact that I dont clean bathrooms and toilets once a week.

I often wonder how our house compares to others she cleans...are we messy, is ours easy to clean...does everyone clean before the cleaner?

Lovely to hear they do.
xoxoxo

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

"Misery" loves company, I know, but I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that stresses out when the cleaning lady comes!

The lady who cleans our house is now a sweet friend of our family...but I still don't want her to spend her time stacking up magazines, as you said. I wish I could keep my countertops clear every day, but I just can't seem to maintain it for very long...but how nice it is for a brief while after she's come and gone! The best is when we can leave while she's cleaning...coming home to that nice and clean smell is wonderful! :)

Oh, and I completely agree, too, that this is money so well spent. With me not working, it's a bit of an extravagance, but I don't know how I'd survive without her monthly visits!!!

Tim said...

Hi, my wife just got stressed out because the cleaner is coming. Because she wanted to clean up the area. We are having work done in the kitchens and living rooms so its a mess. I think it's part of the job and not on going, but she wanted me to clean up for the cleaner. Why would it make sense to do that? If it was an on going thing I could understand. But we need the help anyway.

What is typically driving this need?

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