Dirty House? Tips for Managing the Mess
OK, ’fess up. Is your house ready for company at this very moment? If I showed up unannounced at your front door (which would, admittedly, be very rude, even under the assumption that we’re good friends), would you welcome me in promptly and unapologetically? Would you begrudgingly let me past the front door while offering copious excuses for “the mess?” Or, would you hover tightly between door and door frame to block any view of the travesty of residential cleanliness within?
Stop kidding yourself. It’s OK to embrace the fact that your house won’t clean itself and that you and the other inhabitants therein are never going to get around to it either. Admit you need outside support to keep your dwelling from smelling, and get a housekeeper already.
I did. I got Phyllis.
Phyllis is the wonderful soul who comes to my humble abode every other week and swiffs and scrubs everything back into a state of sparkle. She arrives with one or two trusty sidekicks and, armed with cleaning ample paraphernalia, works magic on every surface and in every corner of my home.
Before I met Phyllis, I’d always thought housekeepers were for other people. My house isn’t that big, we don’t have kids, and we watch our budget. How could I justify paying somebody to clean when I could take care of it?
Well, after going into business for myself last year and becoming blessedly more swamped than ever with work, cleaning the house dropped to the bottom of my to-do list. Though I managed to contain the clutter (I work from home, so basic order is a must), I let the dust collect and the shower grime grow. I didn’t have the energy to spend my rare and treasured spare time cleaning.
Thankfully, a friend told me about Phyllis (I still owe you one, Amanda), and the rest is history. It’s a relief—a joy, really—to know I can rely on Phyllis to keep the house in check while I’m busy being COE (Chief of Everything) in my own business. “Phyllis” is now an immovable line item in my monthly budget, a necessary indulgence that trumps pedicures, eating out or Target shopping as a must-have.
There are a few reasons why you should consider finding a Phyllis of your own. A cluttered, dirty house may cost you more than the fees of a housekeeper. When my house was mucky and yucky, I’d find many reasons to not be there, reasons that often involved spending money, like eating out or shopping. It’s amazing how content I am to eat in and just be home when everything is clean and inviting.
Good housekeepers are probably better at cleaning than you are. I know my home has benefited from some of Phyllis’s trade secrets. Phyllis has more experience and tricks up her sleeve than I ever will for getting the house clean. She’s truly a pro at what she does, and I gladly defer to her expertise.
A really clean house is good for your health. When you regularly delay cleaning, you’re letting your home become a harbinger of allergens, such as dust, grime and dirt. Some reports say that we humans spend upwards of 85% of our time indoors, and we should do everything possible to keep things clean and indoor air quality high.
What good is a well-designed, beautifully appointed home if it’s always dirty and never ready for company that might pop in? Come clean, and let somebody else do the dirty work. And if you’re interested in Phyllis, drop me a line. I might be willing to share her!
Not quite ready to hire help?
Heed these handy tips from Phyllis, and you’ll really clean up.
-Say goodbye to streaks on mirrors and glass surfaces by using rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Just put a spray nozzle on a bottle for easy dispensing. Wipe dry with a sheet of newspaper or a clean towel.
-Invest in the right tools to save time and minimize the need for elbow grease. For example, a good squeegee mop leaves minimal water behind during cleaning while also picking up debris, and a high quality vacuum—Phyllis is a big fan of Windsor Vacuums—will noticeably clean carpets better.
-Go for natural cleaning solutions whenever possible. Natural alternatives will be better for your indoor air quality and won’t leave residue or film like manufactured cleaners. For example, try a white vinegar and water mixture to clean just about any flooring type without risk of leaving a film over time.