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September 12, 2019

At least ten years ago my wife and I decided that since neither of us was very keen on doing it, we should have someone come in from time to time to tidy up after us. Because of problems which both of our parents sometimes had with individual cleaners hired directly we decided to go the contractor route. As a result every other Friday we would be visited bu one two or three ladies who would spend an hour or so doing some very specific tasks in accordance with predetermined instructions. This allowed us to maintain the illusion that we were maintaining a clean and tidy home. A month ago we received a phone call telling us that the firm we hired was going out of business at the end of August.
Now we are in a quandary, what should we do. There is another well known household cleaning contractor in town, but so we really need one? On a couple of occasions when one of us has had medical problems, we have sought help from the organisations that provide in house care, the people we have had from them on a short term basis have been very willing to help with the household chores as well, and on a price per hour basis were no more expensive than our contracted cleaners.

In making the naive assumption that most of the household tasks were still done by us anyway preparing the meals, making the beds, doing the laundry have decided to wait a while before rehiring and see what happens if I replace the contractors staff with me. That would give me $79 every two weeks to spend foolishly.

As a house cleaner of considerable years, I first look for tasks that will enable me to see the difference when I complete them, at least that is the theory, but I also need to take into account my wife’s priorities. A classic illustration has recently occurred. For a while I have been bothered by the appearance of the stair carpet, while it was theoretically cleaned every two weeks, the treads seemed to get dirtier and dirtier. Two days ago I removed the carpet from the stairs, took it outside to lay it flat and shampooed it three times to get rid of the embedded grime, you would hardly recognise it when I put it back on the stairs. However my writing was interrupted by my wife saying “What are you going to do about all the yellow bits that came off the carpet and are now beside it on the stairs” This of course demanded immediate attention with brush and mini vacuum cleaner.

In theory I am, or at least once was, a scientist. The linoleum on the upstairs landing which had been underneath the end of the stair carpet, revealed itself as a much lighter colour than the rest of the floor. So the colour of the main floor was not due to fading, but dirt. Trying all the miscellaneous cleaning fluids in the house in turn, I finally settled on a spray can full of bath tub cleanser. Once the froth settled and was rubbed off with a sponge, there was startling improvement in colour. Of course by next week the linoleum may have rotted to destruction from the chemical impact. I have swept floors and washed them with some success, but the whole concept of dusting things is beyond me,, fortunately my wife notices that and deals with it.

It is time for me to stop writing this and to go and use CLR to clean the toilets, a technique I developed over the years when our professional cleaners never did it.

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  1. Sounds like you have all the skills necessary to start your own cleaning business, Tim. Share your skills and dedication to cleaning with the rest of the world!

  2. Clyde Spinney permalink

    Do you hire out?

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