The Cleaning Lady Conundrum

Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)
Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something earlier today reminded me of my old boss – like from back in the 80’s old boss. When I was working in my first post-graduate job (commodity futures & options trading if you must know), he and his wife had a cleaning lady.  Each week I’d have to hear about how he left a used tissue under a piece of furniture – I think his favorite was the microwave cart – and each week the cleaning lady neglected to spot and remove it.

Faster forward a good 15 years or so and I was looking to hire someone to clean my house a couple of times per month.  That in itself is no picnic when you’re doing it for the first time.  One thing I learned early is that if something they’ve done or not done irks me the moment I walk in the door they’ve got to go.

Part of the cleaning lady conundrum is whether to or how much to “clean” before” the cleaning lady gets there.  This is sort of a joke among those who’ve used cleaning services but really, it’s not a joke….if you have to do that much straightening before they get there is it really worth paying them to come and clean?  This says something about our state of life these days but I’m not sure quite what yet.

We were lucky to have a top-notch cleaning service (Quality First here in northern VA if anyone is looking).  But the conundrum there was that they would super straighten up meaning that everything that wasn’t nailed down got put away somewhere…and that was the trick…where would they put such and such?  I was usually the one called upon to figure out where the cleaning ladies put “my Tae Kwon Do belt, my Tae Kwon Do uniform, my wallet, my mail, etc.”  Usually I could pretty much figure out where things went but this was further compounded by my children refusing to learn what it means to look for something.  Looking is another conundrum for another day I think….

My friends used this same cleaning service and could not stand the putting things away and these chicks had to go.  I loved it especially once I figured out the code and even better when I got ahead of the whole process and reminded the kids to put their loose “stuff” away where it belonged or it would get put away where the cleaning ladies thought it belonged.

My big cleaning lady conundrum had to do with one of my other longstanding issues, which I’ve managed to solve (thankyouverymuch).  The laundry or as Marla the Flylady would say “Mt. Washmore”.  Because my dirty laundry piles were huge and endless I dreaded cleaning day because all four beds would be stripped and I’d then have four sets of sheets to wash, dry, and omg, FOLD before they came again the following week and made it 8 sets.  Eventually I learned to wash them the night before and just lay them out on cleaning day, right out of the dryer.

Since I stopped working full-time I am the cleaning lady and when I do the sheets now it’s into the washer, then the dryer, then straight back onto the bed.  While I did teach myself the proper technique for folding fitted sheets (it’s in Martha’s book! I didn’t buy the book, just went to Costco and looked up what I needed to know about sheet folding) it’s still not my favorite thing to do.

I loved my previous cleaning lady to death and she even named her new baby after me but she and her team where constantly breaking things so I had to put an end to that too.  This is what led to the catch-all “The cleaning ladies did it” phrase when something went missing.  Now there’s no cleaning ladies to blame so we blame it on the dogs, LOL.

For right now I’ve got my supply of purple Flylady cleaning rags, my “rubba swishas” for the toilets (one for each), my feather duster and my oh so wonderful steam cleaner.  With the sheets thing figured out and conquering Mt. Washmore and all I think I have things under control.  I wonder what Cleaning Zone we’re in next week – have to go check my Flylady mail and figure this all out!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.