I Hired an Alice

by Chris on September 19, 2011

Part 1:

I’ve been threatening it for years. “I work full-time!” “I earn the money.” “I shouldn’t have to work this hard!”


What finally broke me? I made a list. Wanna see part of it? Let’s say you do.

  1. Work full-time
  2. Raise a family
  3. Write a blog
  4. Help develop a national conference (Holla! Haven!)
  5. Go back to college
  6. I’ll spare you #7-33

Did you see it? #4…. Curse you, #4. I signed up for post-graduate classes, and I knew something had to give. Crying to my husband, I knew I couldn’t take on one. more. thing. Oddly enough, he agreed.

Part 2:

What else was left, but to find someone to help me out? Here’s where I got kind of bummed out. I finally reached out to some of my friends and co-workers, and I realized that nearly ALL of them had cleaning ladies! Then I found out that some of my stay-at-home mom friends had cleaning ladies!!! Wha????

(Brilliant picture, by the way)

I couldn’t understand why all these women that I consider confidants of mine had never told me that they get help. They can’t do it all either. “Best money I’ve ever spent!” “I couldn’t live without her!” “I haven’t mopped a floor in months!” That’s all fine and great, but why didn’t these women feel compelled to share that with others?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not these women I’m upset with. It’s the idea that if we get help, we’re somehow failing. However, I went months (years?) thinking, “Well, no one else is getting help. Why should you need to?” I’m getting a cleaning lady, and I want the world to know. We can’t do it all. We shouldn’t have to do it all.


Ruh Roh…getting preachy. I’m not alone here though, right? If you need help, get. it. Don’t worry about what others will think and certainly don’t wait for others to give you justification (lesson learned). She’ll be here Wednesday. And yes…I am cleaning the house to prepare for her. I’m not normal.



meghan September 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I had a cleaning lady for about 3 months when I was pregnant…best investment EVER!

Chris September 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm

That’s awesome, Meghan!

Myra @ My Blessed Life September 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Yay Chris!!! I’m so happy for you! I have a helper that comes once a week and does light housework – sweeping, folding laundry etc. LOVE it and it’s the best money I spend every week. :)

Chris September 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Love to know that, Myra! She hasn’t even come yet, and I know it’ll be the best money ever spent. Now I’m just afraid of how angry I’ll be at myself for not doing it sooner. :)

Beth@A2Z September 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I so want a cleaning lady and you know I don’t work full time outside of the home. Enjoy your Alice and stand proud! (p.s. We totally need a silhouette pic like that of the Haven Mavens!)

Chris September 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Isn’t that an awesome picture? Especially of women? Love it. And I love you.

kristin September 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

My mom gave me a gift of a cleaning lady when I was pregnant due to health issues….the best year of my whole life, not cleaning my house every week. And YES I cleaned to have her clean!!! Someday I dream of having her again, soon!!!

Jennifer Rizzo September 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I love me my cleaning lady. After a while you stop picking up and your house tends to stay cleaner. Good for you! One hint of advice, have her come early in the week. It stays cleaner before it get trashed on the weekend.

Kara September 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I would give up a lot of other things before I give up my cleaning service every other week. But I still pre-clean too.

Chris September 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I’m hoping that subsides once she starts coming regularly. Fingers crossed. ;)

Anna @ Take the Side Street September 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Ooohhh, I’m so excited for you with just a touch of jealousy. I would LOVE to have someone do my floors. And my bathrooms. And dust?!?! Be still my heart, I need to go lie down from the excitement of imagining this all…

Chris September 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I know, right? I imagine her flying into my home like a fairy godmother and sprinkling magic glitter on things to make them clean. Overboard perhaps. :) Excited!

Jeanne September 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Yay! I love having my cleaning lady. She cleaned our the day before we got married 7 years ago. It started out every three weeks and has slowly become a once a week thing. My husband isn’t much of a helper, so he agrees with the money being spent. It’s worth every penny. I don’t clean before she comes I pick up. I’d rather her spend her time cleaning than picking up the 12 pairs of shoes on the floor.

Chris September 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I like the way you said that. I’m picking up, but she’ll be cleaning. When she vacuums or mops, I don’t want her to have to waste time picking up dog toys. :)

Emily@Decorchick September 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm

GIRL!! I have been griping for several months now(mostly under my breath while I’m cleaning the house), schedule to have a cleaning lady come, and then chicken out the day before! It’s because after I clean, I’m like “see, I CAN clean and the house looks pretty!” But that was last week and now I’m griping again. And then I have crazy thoughts like “I could really just clean myself and save that $60 or $70 to do a project with” so I talk myself out of it every single time. :( I NEED A CLEANING LADY DARN IT! ;)

Kristen @ More Than Mulberries September 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm

You know I’ve had a cleaning lady on and off for years. Yes, I am a stay at home mom and no we aren’t rich by any means. But there are so many to dos, I run a cub scout pack, I’m a room mom, etc, etc. Sometimes having someone else clean the toilets makes me not as cranky. I’m the first to admit I need help to “do it all.” Speaking of which, I just found out my previous cleaning ladies just wrote a book…..http://abcnews.go.com/US/love-times-inside-polygamous-marriage/story?id=14501794. Nicest polygamist cleaning ladies I have ever met! Crazy, right?! (and far from Alice for sure!!!)

Chris September 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

I just laughed out loud. Only you would have a polygamist cleaning lady who wrote a book and got on ABC news! Hilarious!

Lynette September 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

oh dear, this had me laughing too!

Chelsy September 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm

So awesome Chris! I’m so happy for you and maybe a tad bit jealous. No, I’m not, you deserve it girl :)

Chris September 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Thanks so much, Chelsy! That’s really sweet.

Courtney {a thoughtful place} September 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I was the only one, like you, that didn’t this whole time. I finally threw up my hands with being way too type A and stressing way too much about getting it all done. I have someone who helps me now and it’s a life saver. I needed the help. My husband needed for me to have the help {so I am not so cranky!} and the whole world is much better over here. I am not ashamed to say it. I am happy for you. And I clean for her as well. So not normal.

Chris September 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

“My husband needed for me to have the help”…exactly!!! Isn’t the world at peace if we’re at peace? :) I love everything you just said. I SO wish I had known that it was so common sooner. I’m glad to be getting all the validation and support. And you’re right…not normal. :)

Mummy Maggie @ Mummy Maggie Chronicles September 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Great investment for your home and sanity! I hired a cleaning lady 2 1/2 years ago when I was pregnant with my 1st child and I haven’t looked back! Keeps me sane and able to do all the fun {and not-so-fun} things I *need* to do. Also helped my marriage because I wasn’t nagging on the husby to pick up my slack :)

Erin @ Two Story Cottage September 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I have one once a month. The funny thing is I hired her after I stopped teaching and stayed home full-time. I love that she deep cleans and I can “shallow” clean the rest of the month. I tend to half-way do things and it is nice to have some vacuum under the couch cushions and do the baseboards and stuff that would go a year before it got done around here. Quite frankly I don’t feel guilty at all. And yes, every 2nd Tuesday night I am picking up the house like a crazy person because I want to get my money’s worth. And have that “it’s all clean -holy cow” feeling. Tell Alice I said hello.

cathy September 20, 2011 at 12:17 am

hey, ladies! as someone who has cleaned for several ppl, i wanted to weigh in. no need to pre-clean. we come b/c u need us! that has been true of every place i’ve been AND the reason i’m there! :) but like u mentioned, having the place picked up makes things so much easier and helps to be able to get at the real deal.

Kala September 20, 2011 at 12:46 am

Love my cleaning lady and cannot do without her:) I am one of those too, I clean the house before she comes:):) Life is going to be so much better, you’ll see!

nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma September 20, 2011 at 12:48 am

With two boys under four and less than 1100 sq feet…I need something. We had a cleaning lady when I was teaching FT, and I feel busier now than then. Right now I am in the midst of switching out the summer for fall clothes. Needless to say, it looks like Hoarders in here.

I don’t want a cleaning lady, but an intern. Because I can’t afford the $100 a week that is the going rate in my neighborhood. Gah.

Anyone looking for an internship in Chicago as a SAHM blogger?

Funky Junk Interiors September 20, 2011 at 1:27 am

You’ll soon find it’s alot of work having a house cleaner. You still need to pick up and put away your own ‘nests’ before she does the floors. LOL!!!

I had one for nearly a year after a car accident. Don’t get me wrong.. it IS wonderful and I miss her still. Just know… you’ll be pickin’ up nests over the next while so fit that into your schedule too. :)


Marianne@Songbird September 20, 2011 at 3:46 am

Good for you to get help. And even with the cleaning lady I still don’t know how you get it all done.
Most of my friends have hired help too. I always feel that since I don’t work fulltime I should be able to do it myself. My guy doesn’t agree, he thinks it buys you freedom. So enjoy your freedom from scrubbing the floors yourself.

Paula September 20, 2011 at 5:07 am

Good for you! It is a struggle to try to maintain a home when you also work full-time outside of the home. I could use the help myself, but I am trying to resist. Enjoy your clean house!

Sarah September 20, 2011 at 6:52 am

I don’t have a cleaning lady & never have but it would be sooo nice! I probably will once I have kids, but I feel like I can (kinda) manage for now. Although, I told my husband 6 months ago that if we were going to stay in this (rented) house during his residency then I wanted one, since this house is so hard to keep clean. But, I haven’t pulled the trigger. Waaa! Does the cleaning person come while you are gone? I feel like I’d be nervous to have a stranger in the house when I’m not there, but I also feel like I wouldn’t want to be sitting watching tv while some stranger cleaned my house around me…

Brittany September 20, 2011 at 7:42 am

I’ve had one before, and I’m looking at getting one in the near future. I also work full time, am a photographer on the side, write a blog and am pregnant. And I’m not ashamed to tell people that I hire help!! I always tell my husband that he can have a wife who works and brings in an extra income, or he can have a clean house — but he can’t have both. So kudos to you! It really is the best money you will ever spend!!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

I agree, Brittany. There’s just really no down-side to this, is there?

Brittany September 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I can’t seem to find one :) Good luck!

Debbie September 20, 2011 at 7:58 am

You deserve it Chris and you’re giving someone else a job!!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

Love that, Debbie! Giving someone else a job. :)

judi September 20, 2011 at 7:58 am

Nothing at all wrong with needing help! I have had someone help clean during a a few times in my life- esp. when my children were little and it’s wonderful. Not in our budget right now but maybe someday again:) Enjoy – and use a little of this free time to relax a bit…you’ve got a lot on your plate. I’m so looking forward to Haven! I’m not a blogger, just a follower…hope that’s ok:)

Michelle Gallimore September 20, 2011 at 8:06 am

Excellent post! I was surprised to know how many people I know also have cleaning ladies and LOVE THEM! I stay at home so feel there is no excuse…for myself to not clean…yet :) But I too would clean before hopefully that will wear off :) Enjoy! You deserve it, you have a lot going on!

Colleen September 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

I work full-time and I hired one while I was pregnant with my son. It was the best thing I did. She comes every two weeks and it’s just awesome to have a clean house. It also frees up time to do other things that I have on my to-do list.

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

Exactly! Having a cleaning lady doesn’t mean we’re sitting around doing nothing, right? We’re just doing other things to replace it!

Ashley G September 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

I pre-clean my apartment every. single. time. the cleaning ladies come. :)

Dianne September 20, 2011 at 8:59 am

My husband and I finally decided to hire an Alice…mine is Andrea…to clean our house every other week. We both work full time, and finally it was time to admit we couldn’t do it all. It is definitely the best money we’ve spent in years! She’s only been around for about 6 weeks now, but already things are SO MUCH cleaner all the time! And, because I “pre-clean” and straighten before she comes, our house never gets to the level of COMPLETE INSANITY like it used to…and that makes this Momma Brady very happy ;)

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

Yes! My house is COMPLETE INSANITY right now, so I’m so glad to hear you say that! Can’t wait!

Kerrye September 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

Well, this “Alice” says “You go, girl!” Don’t CLEAN, but a quick little run around picking up the clutter does help us get down to the real cleaning quicker. And HOORAY to your husband!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:04 am

Good advice, Kerrye. I almost cleaned a toilet yesterday, but I had to force myself to stop! I think it will take a while to get out of that mentality! ;)

Dream Mom September 20, 2011 at 9:23 am

I say do what works for you! Everyone needs help now and then and in today’s world, when everyone has so much on their plates, it’s fine to get whatever help you need. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that women can have it all, just not at the same time, lol.

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

So true! Love it!

Amy September 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

*LOVE* my cleaning lady. I had one long before I had kids when I was working full-time out of the house. We didn’t have one for a few years but after we had our second child, we got another one in a hurry. I love that I’m not spending 6 hours every other Saturday cleaning. It’s impossible with kids around and since I’m now working out of the home a few days a week the very last thing I want to do is send them away for 6 hours so I can clean. I still have my kids clean the toilet and vacuum and dust during the 2 week interval because it needs it AND they need to learn these skills. Trust me, not a day goes by when I’m NOT cleaning something in the house. They are just able to give me a clean slate every two weeks. You will not regret one single cent!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

I love that you said that, Amy! I worried about the balance for kids’ chores, too. She will only be vacuuming their bedrooms, so they know they have to dust/pick up, etc. Also, that big ol’ dog is still their responsibility. I’m not making her clean up after him! ;) Thanks again.

Betsy September 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

I have wrestled with the idea of hiring a house cleaner. I go back and forth about it all the time. I am leaning towards trying to fit it in our budget as it would be such a huge stress reliever.

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

Well, she doesn’t come until tomorrow, but I can already tell you–GET the cleaning lady. Just the IDEA of having her come is less stressful for me. ;)

Kimba September 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yay you! I had a cleaning lady for a couple of years starting when I was preggo with my first son. When my hubby unexpectedly lost his job, that was the first expense we cut. And we never hired another one. Sigh. I still miss her. She made such a huge difference in the condition of my house and in the condition of my mood.

PS…I never stopped doing the “pre-cleaning lady clean-up”. I was too embarrassed to let her see my true mess.

ang September 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

Ha, I was the cleaning lady in college, great job, learned lotsa’ tricks.
As for hiring one now? This SAHM/Wannabe Upcycler can’t afford it, even if I could convince hubby that it was a good idea, which I could never do.

Cleanliness in my house is not the biggest problem anyway, but tidyness/organization.

Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded September 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

We’ve had ours for years and she has been a sanity saver for me. I work a crazy demanding job, am a full time grad student and have 5 crazy animals running around my house. I’m a bit of an OCD cleaner so just knowing she is coming once a week when I don’t have the time to be as clean as I want is such a relief to me. I’ll never go back to being without her if I can avoid it.

Melanie @ Mailbox Journey September 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

I just discovered your blog today and I love it. :)

and I’d loveeee a cleaning lady.

Tabitha September 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I’m someones cleaning lady… haha. I work full-time, have 2 kids and all that goes along with it & I’m crazy enough to clean for someone else… makes me wonder why I’m also so stressed out.

Enjoy your cleaning lady… one day I’ll be able to afford one too!

MCfromCT September 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I am one of those stay-at-home Moms (with 3 young children) AND a cleaning lady! “What/Why????!!!” you ask? Honestly, it forces me to clean up those clutter piles that build up in my house. It forces me to put everything back on a regular basis. It forces me to catch up on laundry. It gives me the pressure I need to be organized on a regular basis!! She comes every 2 weeks and does the floors, bathrooms, and dusts/wipes everything down in all rooms. It is the ONE day every two weeks that my entire house is clean. Less clutter = happy mommy and happy wife. Look, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do it all. It is the ONE thing I treat myself to. I don’t buy nice/expensive clothes or shoes. We rarely go out to dinner. And It’s worth every penny!!!! She keeps me sane, organized and my mind less cluttered as well! =)

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I don’t question that at ALL! I think we need to encourage more women to do it–working or stay at home. It’s something I wish more people would have encouraged me to do, that’s for sure! I have summers off, and at this point there is NO doubt in my mind that I’ll keep her on even when I’m at home. Great comment!

Carol Ann September 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Hey…that feeling of inadequacy? That feeling of guilt? Had it. Gone after the first day
of getting some help. Free yourself!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Beatifully said, Carol Ann. As tomorrow approaches (her first cleaning), I am only feeling guilt that I didn’t do this sooner. :)

Catherine September 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Good for you! You know it hasn’t been very long in human history that mothers/wives have been expected to do everything all by themselves. Just look at the vintage TV shows, books, historical records, etc, there’s always been someone else helping with the cooking, cleaning, kids, and so on. It’s ridiculous to expect one woman to do it all!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Totally agreed, Catherine!

Jenny@EvolutionofStyle September 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Oh my gosh, you’re cracking me up. Only because I’ve had this same conversation with friends, telling them I need an Alice. I mean really, Carol had the right idea – she stayed at home AND had a live-in housekeeper? She must have had that as a requirement when she agreed to marry Mike and take on his three boys, right? It’s not like she had a job or was a blogger or something… ;-)

I have a cleaning lady, and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. My only regret is that I didn’t do it SOONER! My husband told me to do it a long time ago, and I kept thinking about how we shouldn’t spend the money, blah, blah, blah. Now that I have her, I would give up just about anything should my ability to keep her be threatened. I can live on Ramen noodles if I need to.

On another Alice note – I had a summer babysitter who was as close to an Alice as I could ever imagine. She did my laundry while I was at work (I didn’t even ask her – she did it and then asked if it was ok. Um, YEAH!), my kitchen was clean when I got home, etc… It was HEAVEN.

Good for you! You’ll never regret it. And yes, I clean before the cleaning lady comes too. I don’t pay her to pick up my stuff, I pay her to do the stuff I don’t want to spend the weekend doing!!

Gwen September 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

My “domestic engineer” comes once a month. Best $ we spend. We “pick up” before she comes. I pay her to clean, not to pick up after us. This has given me my weekends back. My husband hated it when I said, “I can’t… I have to clean house.” Relieves my college-student daughter to study & work 2 part-time jobs. Affords a young mommy a chance to earn without having to work fulltime. Win for all of us!!!

Chris September 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I love the way you think, Gwen. So true! “Domestic engineer”…perfect!

Kathleen September 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I’ve been thinking about this exact topic lately. When I was growing up, we had a cleaning lady. Lots of people that we knew did. I even was a cleaning lady in the summers while at home from college and had plenty of work.

I realized the other day, I don’t know anyone who has a cleaning lady now. I kind of figured they were passe. Its good to know that they do still exist! Maybe no one talks about them because they grew up in houses that had people come in to clean…so it’s just normal to have a cleaning lady.

Judith @Creating Balance September 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I keep saying that I need a stay-at-home wife!!! I say it jokingly, but inside, I’m dead serious. I’ve broached the subject before, but since hubby is a cop, he says no. But that was 2 kids ago. Yeah, I’m going to have to have this conversation with him again. tonight!!!!

Amanda @ Serenity Now September 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm

ooooo—I am so envious! Hire your Alice and enjoy her!! My mom paid for her cleaning lady to come over here a few times to do my floors and bathrooms, and it was one of the most helpful things ever. She came during a week when we had all sorts of craziness going on…Christmas decorating, birthday party decorating, preschool, shopping, MOPS, etc. I’m a stay-at-home mom, but I don’t have it all together. Having help is a blessing I’d love to have again should the money ever pop up. ;)

Jennifer September 21, 2011 at 12:46 am

You will never regret hiring your Alice. A few years ago, my husband suggested we hire a cleaning lady. I was reluctant at first, thinking I was somehow failing in my wifely duties. Ha! Thinking back, I must have been ill that day! After talking to some friends, I was convinced that having an Alice is a win-win situation. Two years ago, we bought a new home, which also was much larger and more expensive. A close friend asked “Are you going to be able to keep your cleaning lady?”. I promptly responded “If I had to give up my cleaning lady to move into a larger house, I would NOT be moving.” My Alice comes every two weeks and I wouldn’t give her up for anything. The most valuable commodity in life is TIME, and if there is a way to get a little bit more time for you to enjoy your family then that itself is priceless. At the end of my life I want to look back and smile at all the happy moments I shared laughing and enjoying my family…not the time I wasted cleaning toilets. Enjoy your Alice. I, too, “pick up” before she comes….

Carol Wolfe September 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I have been a cleaning lady for 15 years. Each family has individual needs, some I pick up for, some I change the bedding, their needs are all different and that’s okay. I’m there to do what will help them the most. I always joke with my husband and say, “This cleaning lady needs to hire a cleaning lady!”

Barbara Grooms September 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Tell “Funky Junk” that it is not more work to have an Alice! If you can get a cleaning lady, do something great for yourself and hire her. Life is too short to do it all. You feel better about doing other things when she has eliminated some of your work load. Having a cleaning lady is the best money I’ve every spent. I thank the Lord every day for my cleaning lady and my hired handyman. Women of the world, get smart quicker…If men had to do the majority of the cleaning, they would hire help in a heartbeat and never feel a minutes guilt.

Tanya@takesix September 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I have an “Alice” as well…it is THE BEST money I spend!! I make the kids tidy their rooms before she comes, and I get the laundry caught up so she can actually clean our laundry room/washroom. I LOVE her!!!!

DeAnna T September 24, 2011 at 1:15 am

Can I get an AMEN!!! Good for you, as soon as finances get back on track I am rehiring mine. I have better things to do than worry about toilets and floors!!

cassie {hi sugarplum} September 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I’m one of ‘those’ girls…I have help, but don’t tell anyone…especially my mother-in-law! why?!?!? i have no idea…it feels shameful somehow. But I too work full-time and blog and juggle two kids. I choose to not spend my only free time away from them and scrubbing. Okay, so my weekend time is spent doing blog/house projects, but those are fun. :)

Enjoy coming home to a clean house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meliss @ Shabby LOCO September 30, 2011 at 3:03 am

Guurrlll… Your gonna LURV her. I love coming home to a spotless house (Yeh’ we can mess it up in an hour or so..but HELL! That is the most wonderus hour of the week! teehhee…I HID my cleaning lady from my husband for almost 2 years, before I fessed up. And till this day his MOTHER will NEVER know! haahha

Pamela October 13, 2011 at 7:10 am

I told my would-be-husband before we got married that I don’t do ironing – EVER. If he wanted ironed clothes he either needed to iron them himself or get somebody in to do it. Gues what happened?

Thankfully I live in South Africa where it is expected! Ok, maybe not quite expected but ifyou don’t have somebody come in and clean your house at least a couple of days a week people look at you a bit funny. Here it is a way of providing employment for the millions that would otherwise be employed.

Catrina January 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm

At the moment I work for three people as a cleaner. I have done for approx 5 years. I used to be an PA/Office Manager in an Estate Agent and got fed up with the office politics. So one day I gave my notice. I was going to start my own cleaning business but once I got two clients, who said they would not have anyone else in their house I never did start the business. I have worked for some fabulous people and not so fabulous people. Those I no longer have.

When I go to a new client I go through each room to see what needs to be done. I like the client to say exactly what they would like done.

It can take a couple of weeks to get to grips with the house and know where everything is like plugs, switches etc. Then you can start to do more.

I have done things like changing lights which have popped in light fitting, washing the soap dispenser in the washing machine, emptying the washer, filling the dryer, folding clothes, putting shopping away, cleaning the oven/fridge/microwave/cupboards. Collecting children, shopping, chemists, showing the workmen when work needs doing.

I do whatever needs doing in the time I have, what I hate is when clients take advantage and leave loads of dirty pots in the sink, stuff on the floor which has to be moved before I can start cleaning and expect too much for the time you have and still expect Everything doing in the time. (I have no one like that at the moment)

I love my job and dont intend to give it up any time soon.

Just enjoy having a cleaner, look after her and she will be worth her weight in gold.

Jenny January 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I just clicked over here from your more recent post… please tell me you have read or seen The Help. My husband and I argued for a very long time about why I would need some help from a cleaning lady at home. I seriously considered hiring some help without telling him, until he finally agreed!!

Colleen Scott February 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I am a cleaning lady and I adore the families I help out.
They all make me feel appreciated and I enjoy what I do!
One of my clients says that I have made them to be a better family.
What a major compliment! Don’t feel guilty, you all are so busy juggling everything, so just ENJOY! :)

Tara July 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I tried a cleaning lady two times last year and it made me realize how OCD I really am! I am a hands-and-knees floor cleaner and she wasn’t so I ended up redoing a lot of what I had just paid her to do! So I think I am going to go it alone, at least for now. I have since figured out an efficiency and schedule that works for me.

Plus I discovered a “duh” solution! Instead of forking over $70-90 twice a month for a cleaning lady, I can send my toddler over to our daycare friend’s (who charges $20 PER DAY for drop in care) house once every 2 weeks, and go home to clean with no distractions, plus have time for a grocery and latte run, maybe even cook dinner! All while Little Boy plays with his friends! I haven’t actually done this yet, but I do think the idea will come in handy once we decide to have another baby in the house. Or maybe I’ll just keep that cleaning lady’s #…

Tara July 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

My mom has cleaned houses for 20+ years so that’s prob why I am so OCD!!

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