When you have to clean your own house…


I will start by saying I miss Zoleka. I miss having someone to clean up after me… ok, let’s be honest, she used to clean up before me, after me, over me, under me. I did no cleaning whatsoever and I miss having the luxury of having someone to take care of all that *stuff.* I can’t lie and say that I can’t WAIT to get home tonight so I can clean up the supper dishes and tidy up a bit. No. Last night I washed four pots. FOUR pots. My husband did the cooking – with FOUR pots? I never use so many pots when I cook, just saying. FOUR POTS??!!

But.

I must be honest and say that it isn’t half as bad as I thought it would be. Also, can I just say how I LOVE cleaning products. My word. It’s like getting new stationery. And they smell so good. When I wasn’t cleaning, I would buy whatever would do the job at the cheapest price. Whatever Zoleka asked for, I would get with very little thought. Now, I’ve taken the art of shopping for cleaning products to the next level. And it has made such a difference. Our laundry smells like lavender fields, our toilets smell like cherry blossoms, our laminate floors smell like real oak. Ha! I’ve had to reorganise my kitchen and make a whole new cupboard for all my special cleaning goodies. And this is no slight on Zoleka at all, but it’s amazing how when you take ownership of something, how you do it right, and you can notice the difference immediately. Now that I’m in charge of the cleaning, I CLEAN. And I make sure everything is clean ALL the time. And it’s given me a weird sense of satisfaction.

I only do washing once a week on a saturday morning, and because the weather has been so glorious this has been a breeze. Let’s have this conversation again in Winter when it’s cold and damp all day long. Grrr. Hubby has already been talking about a tumble dryer and considering we’re only doing 2/3 loads a week, I don’t think it’s such a bad idea. I work through the house room by room, I start with dusting the furniture and windowsills, then I sweep and husband mops behind me. We each do a bathroom and I like to do the kitchen myself. And that’s pretty much the house cleaned for the week. On the little things that need to be done daily: I sweep the kitchen floor every night and I wash the toilets every chance I get because toilets get manky fast when you have two small children. The kids wash out the bath for me and they make their own beds everyday. Thankfully, there isn’t really time to make too much of a mess in the evenings so the house stays relatively tidy during the week. I’ve also started a wash-as-you-go policy, so that dishes don’t accumulate in the sink for the poor sorry sod who has to wash them that day. Even the kids wash their own plastic goodies every time they have a drink or meal; they have 6789 cups of water a day and that usually means 59 cups per day and they like to take out a new plate or side plate for every.single.thing they eat. I actually feel bad for the dishes they used to create for Zoleka now! Now they use one cup for the whole day and rinse it and fill it as they need to. I haven’t tried to do any ironing, I’ve left this all for the lady (A) who will be coming in from this week to help with the bigger stuff – changing the linen, wiping down cupboards and walls, etc. I just cannot bring myself to iron clothes, I can do anything but I can’t iron. Or rather, I don’t want to. Depending on how fast A works, I may get her to do ALL the cleaning once a week and then I’ll just maintain during the week… we’ll see.

I’ll tell you what cleaning my own house has done for me. As I said, it leaves me feeling very satisfied, I also love knowing where my stuff is at all times because I PUT it there and we don’t have any fights over who used what last, and where they left it. Essentially, Mr Nobody has moved homes because he doesn’t live with us anymore! I love how the kids have started taking responsibility for their belongings and how they have become real helpers around the house. Oh, I’m starting a rewards chart for chores this week. More to keep them motivated than anything else. I want to reward them for being good helpers, I want to show them that hard work pays off… but not for the normal things I EXPECT them to be doing anyway, rather for pulling together and making this work for the family.

One of the things I miss about not having full time help is the all-day-every-day delivery address. We have security in our street but I don’t exactly want them collecting all my incoming packages, that’s a bit out of their job description. Secondly, the on hand baby sitting service. Man, this is probably the most difficult thing to be without. I can’t just zip to the shop quickly to pick up something and leave the kids at home. Date nights will be few and far between, and all my extra curricular activities, read:girls breakfasts, church meetings, dinner parties, etc, will have to be carefully planned.

But so far, so good. It has been an eye opening experience… like who would have thought that dust collects SO quickly on furniture or that the kitchen bin fills at the rate of speeding light and needs to be emptied every five minutes. Or that a dirt smudge on the kitchen floor would cause me to twitch nervously. Unbelievable really. Ha.

I’m not saying this is our plan forever. But I do think this plan is sustainable for us, for the foreseeable future at least.

Who cleans their own houses? Or do you have full time or part time help? Why have you chosen to go with that particular option? 

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10 thoughts on “When you have to clean your own house…”

  1. Lovely, honest post.

    I’ve never had outside help. We all live (and eat and mess etc) so we all help and clean.

    My middays have become my sit-down, have a cuppa as kids are doing dishes as a type this, it’s so part of the day.

    Housework is no less rewarding or worthy than other work. And it’s the training ground for all good character-building lifeskills.

  2. I’m not a cleaner at all and I’m ashamed to say my house is too dirty. I have help once a week. I used to have it twice a week and I actually think we need that but it’s a method of cost cutting just to have it once a week. I think I could get into it if I had the time but my child is too needy!

  3. I love some aspects of cleaning my house, mainly because I’m so fussy about some things.

    I do love cleaning products but I don’t know if you remember that series of grocery spending posts from last year? I’m trying to cut down on cleaning products to satisfy my inner minimalist.

    This week I’m cleaning as you know. I found someone to come in tomorrow but if she doesn’t I will not be devastated yet.

    Also, my kids can TRASH a house in about 10 seconds. I’m keeping the common areas looking decent – their room is not up to scratch…

    oh, your questions.

    I love love love full-time help because I love walking in and the house SINGS 🙂 and sparkles. But most of all, the laundry fairy takes care of everything and I never have to see all those piles.

    1. I must say, I was also most anxious about the washing! Especially because Hannah thinks it’s ok to change outfits sometimes three times a day! I did spend quite a bit on cleaning products but I can tell that they are going to last me a long while yet, so that makes me feel better.

  4. I had a twice a month cleaning service for three months and I loved it. We have always cleaned up ourselves, and I hate housework. I would love to have someone come in and clean but I do not have the patience to find the someone, or have them in my personal space moving my stuff out of place.
    I have been sick for two weeks, so the house fell apart, which meant I spent five solid hours cleaning the house on Sunday, and I want to cry if someone spills something.
    Hubby is not as fazed as I am about cleaning, and he will only clean if I instruct.
    I want a domestic goddess who is not me.

  5. Sounds like you are finding your rythm litle by little. I can do all house work but would rather not. Like Y says pay to make your problems go away if you can afford it. The one housework I don’t like do is ironing. So when I’m “helpless” Ironning piles up big time.

  6. Without Lucy I would be at loss. The added bonus for me is that I only need to get the au pair for a limited amount of time because Lucy is there to keep an eye until I get home

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