Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cleaning for the Cleaning Lady

About two months ago after a stressful week (aren't they all stressful?) I started to analyze my life and think what could I do to make some parts easier for me. One thing I thought of was maybe I need help cleaning the house. I'm first to admit that #1 I don't like cleaning and find it hard to motivate myself to do so in an efficient manner and #2 it's near impossible to start and complete even one simple cleaning job with 4 small kids who need lots of attention. In the BIG SCHEME of things I know that having a clean house is not really important. I kind of think when I walk into someone's house and it is super clean I get the impression either they are never home and/or they aren't having much fun. I often say to people who visit our home, "Please excuse our mess but we live here" and it's very true we LIVE in our home -- we use it -- we enjoy it. We don't worry too much about things getting ruined or messed up. Many times if we know people are coming over, Aaron and I work hard to skim the scum off the top of the mess. Which means people probably walk in here and think "I can tell they have 4 kids and don't clean" but the truth is when we know people are coming it looks way better than normal -- those of you that have been here are thinking "scary". Even though I don't think our home needs to be super clean, there is a need for it to be somewhat functional and enjoyable in the way that I want to be able to sit on the floor and not think what is that "sticky" I'm sitting in? I want to be able to put the baby on the floor and not worry that she is eating old potato chips and uncooked beans from our bean box. I want to be to relax and create rather than think I don't deserve to scrapbook or sew or just sit because there's so much that is screaming at me that needs to be done. It's visual stress to me to see things so unclean and unorganized. So my friend Chrissi hooked me up with her cleaning lady who turned out to be someone I knew. The best part is she has 4 kids (grown up now) that includes a set of multiples so I know she knows how hard it is to keep up. I don't feel she's going to come in here and contemplate on whether or not she should call DCFS due to the conditions in which we are raising these children. She didn't seem too shocked when she came to look at the house to tell me how much she would charge so that's a good sign. So for 3 hours every other week, she's coming to clean. She said she won't be able to clean the entire house in 3 hours but I told here it's 3 hours of cleaning I wouldn't have gotten done and her fee is less than what I could pay a babysitter to watch 4 kids for that amount of time. It all starts tomorrow and the only drawback (well not really, actually it's a bonus) is the cleaning to get ready for the cleaning lady. I know it sounds stupid but she does have to be able to see the floors to mop them so Aaron and I did a major "pick up" and I may have an aneurysm at any moment because I wasn't able to pick up and put things in their proper places and lots things got shoved in closets which goes against everything I stand for. But this is the reason why I must have help. For example, I decided to mop under the washer and dryer so I moved them as everything in the free world ends up behind my washer and dryer: hats, unopened cereal boxes, towels, clean clothes, dirty clothes, balls, bubbles, placemats, etc. So after that simple job was over I had to put the stuff I found away which turned into me cleaning out our pantry (to fit the cereal boxes), which in turn I had to clean out several kitchen cabinets to fit some of the stuff I took out of the pantry (I discovered I have 6 cans each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup in case I have some sort of casserole emergency!), then I had to reorganize the linen closet because I was keeping Reese's bath stuff on the washing machine. So my 10 minute mopping job turned into a two day reorganizing frenzy -- this is why I can't get cleaning done -- a psychosis or something . . . anyway we've cleaned a lot for the cleaning lady and I sure hope she appreciates it!


-Tee- said...

I am soo glad there are other people out there like me!! I have organized stacks on my bar in the living room. I have to put them "where they belong" or they stay there. My mother comes in and wants me to just move them... I can't!! I have a plan and if I start I have to be able to finish, so at least for a while, the stacks stay!

Anonymous said...

Try looking at the website. It's free(!) and will help you organize your C.H.A.O.S. (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)over the years. As your children get older it will obviously get a bit easier, but I have found that the messes get bigger (if that is possible - my kids are 21, 19 and nearly 16).

Enjoy your "cleaning associate"!

Nancy in Northern NJ