Afternoon lovelies,

Do you tidy up before the cleaner comes?

Do you tidy before the cleaner comesI am struggling to explain to the men in my life that this is normal, in fact quite rational, sensible behaviour! They believe I am becoming obsessive and displaying OCD symptoms. I have tried explaining that there is no point paying for a cleaner to come to the house, if they can’t clean because mess gets in the way! There is indeed a difference between cleanliness and messiness.

Some of the men in my life have an annoying habit of leaving crumbs on a chopping board forcrumbs the duration. This is not going to help in the process of cleanliness and neither is sweeping them off the board on to the floor which is what happens when there is a polite request to tidy! Yes Ok, the cleaner will brush the floor, but really do we want to tread crumbs into our footwear before she arrives, spread it round the house and tread it into the carpet?  They just don’t seem to get it, despite presumably witnessing the same flies I see buzzing round the kitchen, calling their friends in excitement at the sight.

These are some of the other problems I encounter:

  • kitchen sides full of dumped stuff that means the sides can’t be wiped
  • a sink full of dirty dishes that means the sink can’t be cleaned
  • a bedroom carpet covered in dirty clothes that means the carpet can’t be hoovered
  • a coffee table covered in papers and dirty mugs that means the table can’t be polished
  • overflowing work items and boxes on the lounge floor that means the room is in fact difficult to enter let lone clean
  • a  dirty toilet that means the cleaner will feel sick
The men in my life obviously believe the answer to be this:
  • For the cleaner to search through every cupboard and room to hopefully find where dumped items go, put them away and then wipe the sides clean. An extra 10-15 minutes if we are lucky.
  • For the cleaner to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher if it is empty. Perhaps to wash, dry and put away the dishes if it is full and then do the job of cleaning the sink. Another extra 10-15 minutes.
  • For the cleaner to don her marigolds, put a peg on her nose and pick up all smelly clothes and possibly some clean ones that don’t actually need washing but hey who cares, throw them all in the dirty wash basket as that is quicker and then hoover the carpet. Another 10-15 minutes.
  • For the cleaner to read, sort and file all papers, return dirty mugs to the hopefully empty dishwasher and then polish the coffee table. Another 10-15 minutes.
  • For the cleaner to lift heavyweight boxes, fight her away into overflowing garage and see if she can find a space for work items or boxes. It seems unlikely as I have seen the state of the garage,so this struggle will take at least 30 minutes or more and with a strong chance of complete failure. We will then have to keep fingers crossed she doesn’t have a heart attack in the heavy lifting process and sue us for extreme, risky work conditions
  • For the cleaner to don her marigolds, peg her nose, blindfold her eyes and scrub the toilet with a loo brush. This will mean she is unlikely to ever want to return.
You can hopefully see my problem? Having the cleaner is a luxury we have only had in the last year and I really want to keep her, not drive her away! I want to feel the benefits and calm of sitting in a spotless and tidy house. I want to have that feeling of ‘I’m on top of everything’. I want to know that if I’m looking for something I know immediately where it is. I don’t want to feel overworked and overstressed by domestic chores. I certainly don’t want to pay double the money for the cleaner to do extra hours to TIDY and clean. Firstly we would never find stuff and secondly, we’d eventually not be able to afford her! How is the necessary need to tidy a house before cleaning or tidying as you go, so tricky for my men to fully understand? Does anyone else have this issue? Please feel free to share and if you have the perfect man then feel free to sympathise and give me advice! I have tried training and failed.
A messy loungeMeanwhile this is the lounge ( a supposed communal room we all share) that I came home to after a week away and it wasn’t my husband as he was with me…suitcases and piles of clothes all over the floor. Someone came home, left again in a hurry and presumably forgot about the mess he had made. Thank goodness I cancelled the cleaner whilst away!
I haven’t a clue where to start or what at to do with the piles of mess so how on earth would she? She certainly wouldn’t have got a hoover in the room , let alone round the carpet, because as I keep saying it is necessary to tidy before the cleaner comes!
Honestly Fiona xx