Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Keeping Clean

October 1, 2010

My new cleaner charges bugger all per hour, but has a minimum of 4 hours she charges. My house is a renovation nightmare upstairs (as in, floor boards are up and it’s a no-go zone) so all she needs do is downstairs. There’s not 4 hours worth of work there, which I’ve been sort of ok with as long as she doesn’t charge any extra when the upstairs is in a state of completeness and needing a clean as well. Which might actually happen soon, finally, given the sudden need for a nursery around here within the next 6 or 7 months. The basic tasks seem to be taking less and less time though, and she doesn’t ever seem to think to do extra things, like the cobwebs near the ceiling, or dusting the fans, or wiping down the blinds.

I’ve written that off to thinking she was a few kangaroos short in the top paddock. Today I discovered why.

Yesterday I left her a note letting her know that I’d be leaving suggestions for extra jobs to be done each week, since the current workload was taking less than 2 hours and she is still being paid for 4 hours. So if she wouldn’t mind cleaning my (filthy, filthy) oven as well as the normal cleaning, the gloves and cleaner were waiting for her in the kitchen.

I got home last night to find a sparkly oven. I felt pretty proud. Like I’d won a battle or something. Even though the cleaner’s been doing less than 2 hours work for months and being paid for 4 every week. Who’s the silly one again?

This morning I awoke to a missed call from the cleaner, from late – after 10:30pm. I was well and truly asleep by then, having well and truly lost my ability to keep my eyes open past 8 lately. The message left sounded a little urgent – please ring as soon as possible.

I called her, quite convinced that she was about to sack me. Another cleaner bites the dust. I envisaged her having stewed over the indignity of cleaning burnt on sweet potato and cauliflower cheese for a good hour or two yesterday and deciding she’d had enough. Not so – she had lost some medication and wondered if it had fallen out of her bag at my house.

She rambled on for a while as I searched around for a paper pharmacy bag. She’d gotten quite frantic last night it seems, even calling the police and telling them someone must have climbed over her balcony and stolen her medicine. Woah, that must be some flu or whatever going on over there!

I did find the paper bag and reassured her I would drop it off on the way to work since I was driving past. If only I wasn’t such a busybody. If only I had not looked at what was in the bag before I sailed off to drop it over to her. Then? I wouldn’t know that my cleaner is on the methadone program.


Word to the Wise

June 22, 2010

Helpful hint for the day:

Never diss your cleaner online. Never even hint that you’re tempted to sack her. For one Tuesday, when you’re least expecting it – in fact, when you’re expecting to go home to a clean house because she cleans your house every Tuesday – you might find that she sacks you.

It’s true. I did hear a rumour at The Local the other day that my cleaner had been offered a full time job somewhere, which I assumed might mean she could soon no longer need the money OR have the time to clean houses on the side. I did kind of expect her to let me know rather than just not turn up though.

This afternoon, The Boyfriend sent me a text to let me know there had been a no-show in the cleaning department at my place. Damn, you know what that means? It means I did my pre-cleaner clean for nothing! (Yes, every Monday night I run around like a madwoman doing a fast clean before the cleaner gets there. No, I am not mad. Really. It’s just a little tidying in fact – for if I left all the junk lying around the house that ends up there after a week, it would be impossible to clean anything. Hmm. Interesting thought – I might just pretend the cleaner still comes every week, at least the house will still get tidied weekly if not cleaned!)

Of course, on receiving this good news, I sent a quick query text to the cleaner in question. It’s been a good half an hour and she hasn’t responded. So I did what any sane lazy ass would do – I sent The Boyfriend a text saying “$20 for every hour it takes you will be on the bar tab for you if you get the cleaning done before I get home”. I’m not sure yet if he can be bribed with money. I’m kind of hoping the words “bar tab” jump out and grab him…

Housekeeping 101

June 2, 2010

I work pretty hard. (I also play pretty hard!) That doesn’t leave too much time for much else. I tend to get home late enough that most people would have already eaten their dinner long ago, then I do a mad dash to eat and QUICK, QUICK, must RELAX, and FAST – there’s only 19 minutes of relax time then bed, HURRY. No wonder I sometimes don’t sleep well, huh.

Food wise, I look forward to weekends – this is when I make yummy food that takes hours, like the big roast beef and roast veg I did for Sunday lunch this week. The weekdays are planned out carefully to include slow cooker meals that can be popped on in the morning and ready by evening, or quick meals like grilled veggies and lamb rumps on the BBQ.

Not that I meant to start carping on about food – clearly I should not have skipped breakfast in my tearing hurry this morning! I am simply trying to explain I have very little free time through the week. I don’t mind, in fact I enjoy, spending a few hours cooking up something tasty, but I don’t really think I’m getting the best return on my limited weekend time if I spend half a day cleaning the house.

A few weeks ago a friend (friendly acquaintance more like – lovely girl but not on my speed dial, when I see her I am happy to talk to her but don’t tend to catch up other than randomly when we’re both at the same place) told me she’d started doing house cleaning with another couple, and was after a couple of places she could do on her own, on her days off, as she didn’t get quite enough hours. I jumped up and suggested she could do my place – how could this go wrong!  I’ve wanted a cleaner for years, but have not gone ahead with it mostly as I am a little nervous about letting someone I don’t know into my house when I’m at work.Here was someone I trusted, brilliant.

Well of course it could go wrong! Not dreadfully wrong, but it did start getting a little awkward. You see, even if you’re not close friends, it’s sort of awkward to say to a friend of any level that you don’t think they did a good job cleaning your toilet that week. Then The Boyfriend happened to get home from work early one day, and caught her leaving about half an hour early. Another time he mentioned she’d been on the phone for quite a while during the hours I pay her. I started wondering if I was getting ripped off.

Yesterday I left a note for the cleaner/friend. I tried to be as light as I could, and just stated I wanted to make it easier for her to work out what to do on top of the usual every week tasks when she had the time, so I made 2 lists – one of “Weekly” items, and one of “Extra” items for her to get started on to make up the time when she finished the other jobs with time to spare. I tried to make it sound like I was trying to help rather than preach.

She left me a note in reply saying that she was already doing all the weekly tasks, and they took up about  2 1/2 to 3 hours (I’m paying her for 3), and that she’d get onto the other items as she could with that up-to-half hour left. Phew. Sounds like I managed to word it all delicately enough to not make her take offence at my suggestion that she could do more. Plus, my house has never been more clean than after yesterday’s cleaning session.  I must have given her a gentle but well earned kick up the bum to remind her that I can tell if she slacks off, because my house today is sparkling.

Didn’t Know I Had Muscles There

October 12, 2009

Well the bank finally got the paperwork sorted and signed on Friday. No money has been forthcoming yet, but that really does not surprise me. The Ex decided to man up and move out as agreed on Friday anyway – I was worried he wouldn’t without receipt of the rather large cheque. The Boyfriend and I spent the weekend carting my stuff (and a few of his things) from his place to mine.

Over the course of the weekend, I could not believe that considering I never ‘moved in’ with The Boyfriend, I had managed to accumulate so many clothes over there, all brought over one outfit at a time. Given that the last time until this weekend that I had slept at my house was for a few nights last Christmas, and it was around September last year when I last slept there with any regularity, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – I must have been wearing something all this time, but still. It filled a whole car – boot and back seat. (I think it might be time to clear out the things I no longer wear.)

The house was filthy. I mean, it will takes us months to get through all the cleaning and tidying there is to be done. It took 3 hours to clean the fridge. I think that probably explains how the rest of the house went. The Boyfriend was rather unimpressed at the “You find it, you clean it” rule after he trod in a cat hairball. Especially when I told him the cat who used to throw up stinky hairballs like that has been dead a couple of months. So yeah, there’s a bit of work to get through.

Today my muscles are killing me – they ache in places I did not know muscles exist. Luckily I have a really awesomely comfortable bed to fall into tonight.

Things I love about being in my own house again:

  • My toilet paper is better. This is one thing I will not go budget on.
  • The toilet seat is closed after use. (This one might take The Boyfriend some time to sink in.)
  • My bed is so comfortable and big. And my sheets are nicer.
  • Gas oven and cooktop – so much better than electric. Not that I have cooked anything more exotic than vegemite and grilled cheese crumpets yet.
  • My back yard although in need of some TLC inspires me to make it look fantastic again

There’s more. However, there’s also more work to do which awaits…