A few months ago, I asked if you have or had ever had a housekeeper. I felt like I was drowning in a dirty house with no time to clean it. I thought I’d follow up with a quick update: I’m still drowning in a dirty house with no time to clean it.
However, I did hire a cleaning service shortly after the first post. I was so encouraged by your comments to get over my guilt and ask for help that I found a local company and set up an initial “deep cleaning.” And, it was fabulous—although a little embarrassing. For the first visit, the company sent a team of 4-5 people who all decided to drive separately to our house. There’s nothing like having four cars, each with a prominent cleaning company logo on the side, lined up in your driveway. I’m sure the neighbors probably thought they were excavating the place.
After the first cleaning, they came every other week for a “quick clean” which covered the kitchen, bathrooms and living room. (Kids—you’re on your own!) It was great for the first few times, and then I began to realize why I had stopped using a housekeeper several years ago. First, the magic lasted all of twenty minutes. It becomes hard (for me) to justify paying someone to clean our house when the kids immediately come in, drop their stuff, drag snacks out of the pantry and inevitably smash Goldfish and drop an entire yogurt on the very recently cleaned floor. It’s the same feeling as chipping your polish as soon as you get back in your car after a manicure. Aaaarrrggh.
And, then there’s all the dang prep work it takes to get out the door before they come. What no one else in my family understands is that it takes a lot of time to put every single thing they drop around the house in some kind of place. Everything. I found myself sweating and throwing stuff in drawers and closets 10 minutes before they were suppose to arrive, and of course, promising myself I would organize and throw away bags full of things before they came again in two weeks. I didn’t.
(I love this vacuum—as much as you can love a vacuum—if you’re looking for one.)
So, I quit my housekeeper. I tried. But in this season of life, it was bringing me more stress than joy. So, what was the point? My new strategy is to stay on top of the kitchen, hand the toilet brush over to my husband and close the kids’ doors. For now, it is what it is.