In the past few years, I’ve had a housekeeper off and on again. I’m tempted to write a list of my reasoning for hiring someone to help clean my house, but I’m not going to and I don’t think you should have to explain yourself either. We do not need to be martyrs! We all have to find the balance in our lives that works for us.
Cleaning is important. I know there are a million feel-good quotes out there about how sticky floors make for better moms and blah blah, but in my experience, sticky floors attract ants. Toilets that don’t get cleaned regularly are not sanitary. I don’t want to bathe my toddler in a dirty bath tub. Floors are the #1 place for germs to find their ways inside our homes. Our shoes walk all over the grocery store, streets, and public bathrooms, and then walk right back into our homes. Kitchens that aren’t cleaned can grow dangerous bacteria. Dust makes it hard for our children to breathe, and we can get sick from dirty pillowcases and dirty toothbrushes. I just don’t know how to sugar-coat this for you: cleaning is important.
Coming home to a totally clean house is a thrill that never gets old. Having a housekeeper, especially a good one, is such an amazing gift. I have high expectations of how my housekeeper will spend her time and the quality of her work, but there are lots of things I must do first to let her do her job properly.
Discuss specific expectations with any housekeeper you hire, but here are common expectations: Housekeepers are not in charge of organizing and tidying your belongings, picking up toys or dirty clothes off the floor. They dust around the junk on your surfaces, they aren’t responsible for putting that junk away. Counters, dressers, desks, and surfaces should be clear so that the housekeeper can CLEAN. Cleaning and Organizing are two different things. Also, there are some house cleaning chores that are difficult and time-consuming. I suggest arranging with your cleaner to rotate through deep cleaning chores like I suggest for those cleaning their own homes. If you disrupt the routine and ask your cleaner to do one or more difficult jobs that are unplanned, offer compensation for the work! I expect my housekeeper to do all the regular cleaning tasks like bathrooms, dusting, floors, trashes, and changing sheets.
One of the best parts of having a housekeeper is the motivation it gives to get the house tidy. It is a deadline to actually getting stuff put away! It can be a lot of work preparing for the housekeeper to come, but definitely worth the effort.
What I want to share with you is my method for maintaining our homes in between our housekeepers visits. I want to help you avoid that crazy mad rush right before she comes! I recommend adapting the same cleaning schedule as someone doing all the cleaning themselves. There are a number of places on the blog where I discuss cleaning schedules, though the most notable is one of my most popular posts How To Keep A Perfectly Clean House … or something like that.. Of course there is a cleaning schedule printed in my Home Management Planners, which is very convenient.
Basically – you follow the same schedule, you just skip the deep cleaning aspects.
- On Bathroom day, you go to your bathrooms and tidy them up.
- On Floors day, you make sure everything is picked up off the floors.
- On Dusting day, you make sure all of your surfaces are cleared off.
- On Kitchen day, you make sure your kitchen is tidy and clear of junk.
You get the idea … right? YOU are still responsible for the cleanliness of your house!! You are just delegating some of the specific jobs to your housekeeper. Keeping your home maintained and tidy in between cleanings will help you avoid the last minute stress AND make the most of your investment.
Okay, tell me: do you have a housekeeper?