The process of the luxury clean

Source: clipartpanda

Source: clipartpanda

There is a wonderful cleaning lady who comes to my house once a month.

Yes, I know I’m retired and have all (see note) the time in the world to clean my own house but I deserve a luxury or two and this is one of them. There are other things I would give up before my cleaning lady. Maybe even buying shoes but let me think about that a bit first.

I hate cleaning. I prefer to work outside or do a project or read a book. Clean the cat litter. Anything but vacuum.

There is a process. Our lady comes with her crew at 8 a.m. That means an early rise. I have to get the cats fed and their dishes cleaned up before she gets here. The day they come is always the day The cats putz around with their breakfast. The cats know. They know everything.

I also make sure their litter is cleaned. No one wants to clean a stinky room even if they are paid. No one is paid enough to endure a Hazel dump.

The night before I go hairball stalking. Those cats try to embarrass me. They do it on purpose. They hack up a big one in a place I won’t notice but that the cleaners will find and think I’m dotty. I know I shouldn’t care if the cleaners think I’m dotty but you know how that is.

Sure as can be, I found a gift last night. I don’t know how I find these things but I do.

All clutter has to be cleared. You know, those coupons on the coffee table and the nail polish on the side table. The extra pillows for a quick nap on the loveseat. The magazines on the floor. I declutter often because I clutter a lot.

There was a cupcake on the kitchen counter which the beloved husband assured me he would take care of. Some things you should just do yourself! (Anything chocolate comes into that category.)

I am not paying someone to straighten up. I want them to do the hard stuff. The work where you have to bend over or overstretch. Or use chemicals to get the soap scum off. Or the poop marks from under toilet bowl rim. That kind of nasty stuff.

When she comes with her crew, the beloved husband and I make ourselves scarce. I go to the gym early and then we do a nice leisurely breakfast. It’s a great time for connection but the best part is that we come home to a house that is clean and almost cleared of cat hair — almost.

Note to those who have not yet retired: Unless you are without interests, you will not have enough time to do all the things you want to do. There is never enough time!

So what is your luxury?

 

59 thoughts on “The process of the luxury clean

  1. If anyone leaves a magazine on the floor in our house, you can be sure there’ll be a hairball on it in no time at all. The cats consider it part of their duties.

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  2. I’m with you on this Kate. We have 2 sisters who come in every 2 weeks or so — they are here for about 1 1/2 hours and when they leave – – angels sing, I swear. We tidy up first and there are certain rooms that aren’t included (like our bedroom where we shove all the clutter from the ones being cleaned – ha) but they do a nice enough job to continue. And they do the scrub-the-tub-floor-sink stuff that I hate doing. I’d give up a lot before I gave them up!!

    🙂 MJ

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  3. This really made me laugh…the cats…they know…they know everything, and I too have someone come in one a month…I call her the Polish wonder. I never not scrub the tub before she comes for fear she’ll think I’m a welder or working construction. I use an apricot scrub that leaves grease three inches thick…God forbid Hazel, I call her, sees this.
    And you’re right, there’s nothing like coming home to a clean house. Like Housekeeping came short of putting chocolate on your pillow.
    Great essay.

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  4. That’s a very important luxury! My favorite luxury is food. Restaurants, take out, fast food, pre-made food, food made by relatives and friends, food hubby helps me make. In short, any food I don’t have to make entirely myself. The sad thing is that I’m not a terrible cook. In fact, my food is usually better than all or most of the above. But I always want to be doing something else!!!
    By the way, cats always know everything! I figured out that they see pictures in our minds. Kennel, maid crew, etc.

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  5. I don’t have a cleaner because I would have to work so hard to make my home presentable first. Doesn’t seem worth the trouble. I luckily have a husband who does the cleaning so I don’t have to compromise my lounging around time.

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  6. Until about a month ago, I had a cleaning lady come once a week. But last Autumn, my faithful Galina, who had been with me for several years, finally retired and moved to a town on the coast. It took me a couple of months till I found Elena, but after only a few months, she upped and moved north. Since then, I have had to do my own cleaning and I hate it, hate it, hate it!!!
    I am still trying to find a new cleaner but (oh, what a cliché this is!) it is really hard to find good domestic help these days. And, of course, the day Elena left was the very day my vacuum cleaner packed up…

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    • It is hard to find a good cleaner. People don’t want to do that kind of work anymore. My person enjoys it. She’s in her 40s and very middle class but just enjoys the work. More power to her. I hate it myself.

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  7. I just haven’t had good success with cleaning professionals. I have tried. I do think about giving it another try, though. I do actually like cleaning, but I have so little available time that I could definitely use the help! My luxury item is regular mani-pedis. I’m still working, so I justify it. Not sure I’ll be able to keep that up as regularly once I retie, but I hope so. 🙂

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    • When I worked I had my nails done professionally. That’s one of the things I gave up. I’m sure I could find the time to clean but I don’t like to. If I get extra time, I will clean out a closet or do a thorough cleaning of something. This summer I am hoping (notice the use of the word hoping) to take down the kitchen wallpaper and paint. That will be a big job because I have to wash the glue and sizing off the walls. I love my wallpaper but people aren’t doing it much. If I have trouble cleaning the walls I might just shop for a new wallpaper. That I would do myself too. We do the weird things ourselves and get people to do the mundane work.

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  8. You have my hearty approval Kate! My luxury is the cleaning lady too! Started with her when I broke my ankle and then got sick and subjected to a bad family tragedy, so kept the cleaning lady to get through it all. Then just kept her coming and consider her an absolute necessity. I too spend hours clearing up for her arrival, emptying garbage,washing and changing throw rugs, clearing away obvious signs of life. You are not alone.

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    • I hear you. My sister-in-law who is in her mid-80s broke her wrist two years ago. She couldn’t wash her hair so she started going to the hairdresser for a wash and comb out and hasn’t stopped since. She also got someone to come in to clean monthly. It’s funny how fast you can get used to little luxuries and how meaningful they are.

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  9. Have always wanted a cleaning lady and someone to cut the grass so I can just work in the gardens. Soon as I win the lottery it will happen. Hubs does none of it. He figures he’s done his share by making sure I have a vacuum cleaner, a dishwasher and two lawnmowers. Soon as I win the lottery……….

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  10. I have a bi-weekly cleaning lady, and wouldn’t give her up for the world. My husband grumbles about the cost, but I tell him he will have to do ALL her chores. He shuts up fairly quickly.

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  11. Kate you make me smile and then you make me laugh. You can’t corrupt me with your cleaning lady because CH found a cleaning lady for me a couple of years ago by asking the gal that cuts his hair if she knew someone… she did. He came home and gave me the card… she comes once a month and sometimes twice if we are having VIP company… 🙂 I am glad you scope out the house for surprises and do a quick pick up, too. I miss the Z Cat’s hairballs.

    Now for the porch tile. It is done! I have two pictures. I have 30 pictures but I am not making you endure them. I am pretty sure I have your email so I am going to shoot them to you, okay? Thank you for taking that picture of your beautiful porch with the tile and making us get off our butts and get it done. We love it! The tile guy was a good guy but I could hardly wait to get him out of here and get it all cleaned up. The cleaning lady does not know yet that she has MORE tile to clean… eek!

    Our luxury is having the most handsome Travis and his three sons come and mow 4 acres of our Tiny Ten acres since CH hurt his back three years ago. I’m sorry Kate, I should have just wrote a post… 😳

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    • This is all wonderful news. I will check my email but I think you should post about it too! In our neighborhood only my husband and one other neighbor mow. All the rest have a lawn service. Can’t say I blame them.

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  12. A cleaning crew would be lovely even if all they did was de-fur the place and did the floors. I don’t mind vacuuming but I do not like cleaning the hardwood floors which is every room except the bathrooms.

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  13. Oh, hairballs! I step on those all the time. I had a cat who used to go under my bed to hurl. After she was gone and I cleaned under the bed, I found she’d left me some.

    You wouldn’t think you would sob sadly over hairballs, but I did.

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    • I would sob sadly over any remnants of a dearly departed cat. When my last old black cat passed, I too cleaned under the bed where she slept. She had been somewhat senile for a while and stayed under the bed almost all the time. I could have made a bedspread with all that hair.

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  14. I would love to have a cleaning lady come in regularly. I’m not a big fan of cleaning either. I have someone I call in a few times a year…..before Thanksgiving or Christmas, the end of winter, etc. It’s the best feeling walking into a fresh smelling, shiny, clean home. I do have someone cut my lawn weekly through the spring and summer. I like to puttering around in my yard but don’t want to cut it. Enjoy your clean home!

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  15. Good for you, Kate ~> you’re doing your part to keep the economy chugging along.

    BFF cleans (including the laundry) and I handle the financials (including the taxes). He likes physical exercise. I like mental exercise. It’s a win-win.

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    • We have been doing our own mulching and clean up work for several years now. Every time I see the pile in the driveway I go “what are we thinking” but it goes fast. Just not fast enough. If we get it done in a week, we’re happy.

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  16. I suppose our luxury pre boat days was having a hoover each as Hubby can;t get on with an upright and I get terrible backache using a cylinder.
    Luxury these days is a pasty in one hand, latte coffee in the other and sitting on a bench somewhere people watching. Actually we do that a lot. 🙂

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      • We’ve solved that problem too as we don’t have a vacuum cleaner at all now. There just isn’t room to store one on the boat, so we use a long handled dustpan and brush which gets in all the corners, and saves on the electricity bill too!

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  17. Oh my, I envy you! I haven’t been able to convince my husband that having someone come in to clean is a good idea (even when we both worked). Fortunately, he is evolved enough to consider housework his responsibility too.

    Your hairball stalking made me laugh. I remember doing hairball reconnaissance every morning when I had my kitty. I wanted to find it before hub’s foot did.

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    • It’s a nightmare when we have overnight guests. I get up at 6 a.m. to get them fed and check for hairballs all over. The big problem is that they like to barf them up in one of the guest bedrooms. We try to keep the doors closed when we have guests but you know how that is. Oh well. Stay here at your own risk. It’s not like it’s poop.

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  18. The cleaning lady is my luxury also, those once a fortnight visits are my favourite days on the calendar (that and when my roots are touched up of course!). Besides, the children will gladly “tidy up” for the cleaning ladies but will continually put it off should it simply be for me! 😉

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