5 Things I Hate About You

cleaningNo, not YOU. You, I am quite fond of.

This is for my cleaning lady. Actually the full cast of cleaning ladies (and gentlemen) that have helped me out over the past 14 years.

I started having someone come help me clean when my little Sprout was a wee thing and I had a new “important” (aka “reasonably profitable”) job and had reached a point in life where I believed I could not do it all.

The first fella came every two weeks for years and years, despite the fact that I thought he did a semi-terrible job. Because his semi-terrible job was so much more awesome than having to do it myself.

Then I had a different person who came every two weeks, and then just every month and then every few months (that whole “reasonably profitable” thing went by the wayside for a bit.)  I just finally got back to where I feel like I can commit to a regular every two weeks gig and my newest helper started just last week.

Just for the record, there is a corresponding list of approximately 7,546 things that I LOVE about every one of the people who have come to help me out. THAT list, which I will not share, starts with things like “Willing to stick your hands in my toilet” and “Makes it unnecessary for me to stick MY hands in the toilet.” Obviously there are a multitude of reasons to be immensely grateful to have the resources to have someone to delegate some of the less enjoyable aspects of home care to.

A multitude, I tell you.

But, there are a few things that make me a little crazy about having someone all up in my stuff. And that is what we have here.  So, here we go:

5 Things I Hate About Having Someone Else Clean My House

(and yes…the fact that this list exists makes me a terrible terrible person)

1) I never realized how completely OCD I was about shelf displays until you came to visit

I want to be able to accept the way you think the candles should sit on the mantel. I really do. But apparently there is an angle of candle placement that causes my brain to short circuit, and it is the favorite of all cleaning helpers. Straight ahead. Squared off. No angles.

After you leave I have to (HAVE TO) walk around and adjust every single candle…and picture…and tchotchke.  Every. Single. One.

And I hate it. Because it means I am crazy. And I don’t want to know I am crazy. At least not about this.

2) The shampoo goes there

This is another OCD thing (they all are, honestly) but the shampoos and conditioners and body washes and scrubs and all that other stuff in the shower? They are arranged exactly the way I want them.

Sprout’s things are at one end, mine at the other. Matching things are next to each other. I can’t even explain the rules.  But if you could possibly draw a little diagram before you move everything to one end and mush it all together that would be super awesome.

3) We don’t make our beds, and your way is weird

My kids are semi-horrified to see how their bedding is arranged every time they come home to find things all neat and organized. Because it is wrong. All wrong. It’s neat, sure. But it’s (gasp) tucked in. And just…wrong.

4) Cleaning up for you is a pain in the butt

I know you are doing all the hard stuff (and I totally totally appreciate the heck out of it.) But the pressure to get all of the laundry off of the floor and all of the dishes in the cabinets and all of the papers off of the counter and the dog out of the kitchen and the hair products off of the bathroom vanity…well that is just exhausting. Whew.

5) We don’t need organizing advice

Well, we might. But when you move stuff around and put it in different rooms or in random drawers or hide it, that’s totally not helpful.

Last week I couldn’t find my boots for hours because they were on the other side of the closet under all of the hanging clothes.  Why would I want them there? And if I DID want them there, why would I put them clear on the other side out in the open where I can see them?  Just sayin’.


Of course I have never (ever) said any of this to any of them. That would be too confrontational, and I don’t want to anger someone with unfettered access to my underwear drawer (and food supply.) But the walk-around post-cleaning is always a little stressful…because apparently I am a mental case.

Cleaning sessions cost about as much as therapy sessions, so the fact that my clean floors and stove come along with an uncomfortable self-awareness that I seem to be a crazy, anal, regimented, yet messy and unorganized, sort-of-mean and yet pathologically-unable-to-confront-an-issue person who doesn’t want to touch anything gross…is actually an incredible deal.

Maybe I should start having her come every week…

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, more than 40-something (don't make me face the number), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer, proprietor of an emptying nest Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my one child while Snapchatting the other and yelling at my dog

1 Response

  1. They move stuff to show you they ACTUALLY cleaned it. I learned that the same way you did. You have to be very specific, and it is never comfortable. Not for nothin’ but, I have the same issues when Dave cleans. There is something very personal about cleaning your own house. But…there’s a lot to be said for learning how to ‘let it go’!

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