Why, you ask, am I so blissful this lovely afternoon? Because I just had a meeting with a friend of a friend who cleans houses when she isn't working as a Labor and Delivery nurse and one of the best hospitals in Philly. After many recent discussions with my husband over the cleanliness of my house and my lack of desire to dust and scrub every day (or even every month), he finally broke down and said I could look into hiring someone. Now I know this is an expensive, unbudgeted, luxury, but if it will cause my husband to be less stressed and my house to be more peaceful, it's worth it. I will even give up my fast food breakfast and lunch habit if need be.
Finding someone trustworthy and reasonably priced seemed a daunting task. I only recently started really wanting this service as I learned that nearly ALL my friends...even stay at home moms with young kids...even people on shoestring budgets...had hired cleaning help. I had asked a few of them about how much they paid and for references, but hadn't called around yet. Then last week in my MOPS meeting (we had a speaker on organization), I saw a girl who had recently joined our group had a business card to one of my friends that had a picture of a broom on it. I got very excited and asked for the info, and got even more excited when my friend said she worked as a nurse with this cleaning lady and used her to clean her own house regularly. Finally someone I could definately trust...an educated, professional mom just like me, except that where I like to take pictures for people, she likes to clean and organize.
When I spoke to the woman on the phone she sounded really easy to get along with and very professional. She made me nervous when she explained that the first cleaning is usually very in depth, like to the point of moving furniture and scrubbing baseboards. She calmed my fears when she said "the first cleaning costs a little more, and it depends how big your house is, but not more than $100." That's IT? When she said she'd come by today to check out the house and give me a price, I quickly got embaressed by the inch thick of dust on everything, and the juice rings on the countertop, and the dirt on the stairs I hadn't vaccuumed in weeks. So I did a small bit of tidying up, but mostly just putting things in their place, which I'm pretty good at. I'm no clutterbug, despite whatever Mike says. Well the cleaning lady immediately commented on how NEAT my house was! I explained that it is not neat, it is organized, but it does not get scrubbed. She said, "Well for someone who doesn't clean much, you do a good job." And she completely sympathized with my being a pregnant, working mom who tires easily.
With every room I showed her, I winced at the dirt and dust and she exclaimed "Oh, this is EASY!" She does organizing too, so when she looked in my closets I freaked, but she said "Not bad at all." She asked to see the basement, which I told her is just for storage and we never use, but I told her how someday I would like to organize the mess down there. She actually thought I did a pretty good job of storing Nathan's old clothes, in diaper cartons, even if they weren't labeled. I think really she was just being nice. She was VERY nice, but not overly perky, just super cool. And when she told me the price for the first and following cleanings, I about fell over with joy at the affordability. She said she likes knowing that what she does makes people happy. That's exactly how I feel about my photographs.