Thursday, April 16, 2015

Housecleaner Syndrome

Did I tell you I had my house cleaned for the first time ever by housecleaners?

Don't get too excited...I didn't initiate it myself. It was part of the contractor's renovation package. I assumed they would clean just the construction area, but, no, they cleaned the whole house. I'm still not so sure that cleaning the whole house was really part of the original deal. But Fritz spent enough time bellyaching to the contractor about all the dust, that (I do believe) the contractor thought he could pacify Fritz with a Grand End of Construction Whole House Clean.

Since we've become parents, we've spent a fair amount of time fantasizing about how nice it would be to have someone else do the cleaning. Fritz would prefer a live-in maid. Just that statement alone says a lot about how not-serious our conversations are. We could NOT afford a live-in maid. It's so over the top, that it pretty much puts housecleaner conversations in the same category as discussions about winning the lottery.

In the more realistic portion of the housecleaner discussion, we decide:
1) It wouldn't be that much help because we still would have to figure out how to get everything picked up at once. Cleaning for the cleaners, you know.
2) Housecleaners don't do a better job cleaning than we do ourselves. (Let me rephrase that...than I do myself....)
3) A once-a-month cleaning (which we MIGHT be able to afford) isn't really enough anyway, so why waste money on it?
The conversation then takes the aforementioned turn towards live-in maids.

Anyway, it took 2 people 7 hours to clean our (post-construction) house. When they were FINALLY done, and I walked through the house, these were my thoughts:
1) There was a definite tendency towards cleaning for the sake of appearance, as opposed to cleaning to really get it CLEAN. For example, the top of the faucet was shiny, but the bottom was still covered in dried toothpaste/soap suds.
2) It was a complete hassle to be out of the house for 7 hours straight. Trixie was especially miffed.
3) I thought that if only someone (not me) would take the kids out of the house for 7 hours, I could do a better job. What's less expensive? A babysitter who takes the kids away or a housecleaner? Because I think I would prefer to clean the house myself. The 7 hours of kid-free time, even if I spend it cleaning, sounds divine.

My opinion changed a little bit by the following weekend when we hosted 2 birthday parties at our house. Instead of the usual rushing around insanity of getting everything super clean, I just made sure everything was relatively in order. I was almost relaxed! I thought to myself, well, if it's not clean, it's not my fault! It's those housecleaners! Passing of the blame or the lack of personal responsibility WAS nice.

But we still won't be employing a housecleaner anytime soon.


Pregnantly Plump said...

I think I would love a housekeeper. Bob says never. Even if we had the money. He helps a good bit with cleaning, but I do more. And I'm just not the best at it. It's good that you now know you wouldn't want one.

Anonymous said...

Ha, we have a live-in maid. She takes care of the kids, does the laundry, cooks, plans our vacation, takes laundry to the dry cleaner, waters the garden - what else? The best thing is, she comes for about that for a split personality?
I guess you get the joke.
I actually do have help. I do call it help, because during those three hours she comes, I work as well. While she thouroughly vacuums the whole house, changes sheets and mops all the floors plus stairs, I put things away, dust shelves, clean the bathrooms and other details that are important to me. Otherwise I would have to work six hours straight, and I have to admit I would not have the energy nor the drive to do that. It's a good compromise for now, a bit more affordable - and I can keep an eye on things resp. do it the way I want it.
Oh, and I remember one thing I read about the maid services: Supposedly, they start with the bathroom and finish with the kitchen - with the same cleaning much for the look.