Posted in Finance, Home

Why I Can’t Clean My House Better Than Strangers

It’s funny how you become accustomed to things and develop a behavior that shows how much you take for granted.  Recently, I have been assessing our finances since they’ve gone a bit awry.  In doing so,  I agreed that one of the first expenses that could go should be the housekeeping service.  I mean I am home all day, it’s not like this house is so huge I couldn’t possibly keep it clean.  I keep it clean pretty much anyway as the housekeepers only come once a month.  I like them coming because it’s nice to have it all done at once.  I do it piecemeal and like today, I find that, well, that I just…I just can’t clean my house better than they can.

I usually start at the “working” end of the house, the laundry room, mud room, 1/2 bath and kitchen and work my way through to the bedrooms.  For the housekeeping service, it takes two women, two and a half hours to clean the entire house.  Based upon that and my crappy math skills, I can then deduce it should only take me about 4 hours total to clean the house in it’s entirety.  But, in fact, it takes me at least two hours to do only a quarter of the house and approximately 2-3 days to clean the entire house!   And here’s why…

In the laundry room, I have to dust all surfaces, wipe the blinds down and wipe the window sill.  I have to clean the exterior washer and dryer with windex, wipe them down entirely, clean out the filter and wipe out the seals, make sure the doors are wiped free of hair, paper, or whatever remnants someone’s left in their pockets that week and vacuum the dryer vent and make sure there’s nothing blocking the filter.  Then I pull out the drawer underneath to wipe the top of it and see that there’s something spilled inside, so I have to remove all items in the drawer and wipe that out.  I then have to change rags, because there’s detergent all over the rag and I certainly can’t wipe anything else with a soapy rag.  I realize since I have the drawer emptied to wipe up the spill, I might as well remove it completely so I can vacuum the rest of the floor underneath the drawer.  I find a loose battery that someone’s let roll under the washer and set it on the counter.  I put everything back neatly in the drawer, then open the cabinet to put the battery where it goes.  I notice that there’s some dirt/dust in the bottom of the cabinet where the batteries go, so I empty out the cabinet that holds the batteries and other sundries, I rearrange the plastic bin that holds the batteries, wipe out the cabinet fully and then replace all items into that cabinet.  I can’t possibly clean only one of the cabinets, the other 3 cabinets have to at least be wiped out and the two drawers should be too, I mean, what’s the point of doing all but the drawers, right?

So after a hour’s worth of work, I’ve managed to finish the cabinets and drawers, return a found battery to its proper place and wiped down the washer and dryer.  I still have to vacuum, under, around and behind the washer and dryer and then I have to remove the vent in the floor, make sure it’s wiped clean and then vacuum out the actually vent so dust doesn’t blow all over the newly cleaned surfaces.  I still have to wipe the light switch plates and door handles and then conclude with mopping.  Multiply this scenario at least three times (laundry room, mudroom and half bath and for the half bath, I even pulled out the touch up paint and 2 paintbrushes!!) before I even allow myself to consider moving into the kitchen and you can see my dilemma.

It’s so much easier to pretend the housekeepers clean to my standards and just ignore that battery under the washing machine.  Ugh…

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A work in progress, always trying to better myself and find my purpose.

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