Friday, January 25, 2008

The endless, endless clutter

I took the plunge earlier this week.

I let our housecleaner go. (Ok, really, AB let her go as I am a wuss... but it was my telling him to do so.) She was "fine" and cleaned our house every other week for the last three years. She routinely needed reminders to do things like move the kitchen appliances and clean under them, wipe the window sills, things like that. My biggest problem with her was her hit or miss nature. One week was great, the next notsomuch. And she had plenty of personal issues that she liked to talk about (A LOT) and that I suspect made her distracted with her work regularly. Yes, if I had a 20 year old son who was schizophrenic I would probably have a hard time focusing too. But I was paying her to do a job... it was a business transaction after all and my satisfaction was hit or miss.

I didn't just let her go and decide I was going to do it myself. I am not crazy! Instead I climbed aboard a service that my closest female friends in the area have glommed onto. For only $30 more a month, I am signed up to start getting weekly cleaning service.

I am so thrilled about this because what I REALLY need done all.the.time is my floors. My floors are always a mess. Around my table is a disaster since Skadi has started eating solids and Leif can't always locate his mouth.

And how much stuff can a family of four track into the living room? I can give you a good approximate since I am constantly prying the stuff out of Skadi's mouth. Incredible oral child, she is.

So I am thrilled about this new path to a clean house.

Here is the issue though... picking up the house for the cleaner.

We could deal with the every other week scramble the night before to get the clutter picked up. But now, the scramble is going to be a weekly occurence.

I am not the only one worrying about it, AB has voiced concerns about it many times. I keep telling him that if we do it weekly, it won't get nearly so bad as it does after two weeks. In theory, we should spend far less time each week.


Ok, so I might just be expelling steam. I don't know this.

How do you deal in your house with the clutter? The things left behind day in and day out by your kids, the things that get dropped when everyone walks in the door, the toys the cat has sent sailing into neighboring rooms?

It is the common area (kitchen, dining room and living room) that get bad. Leif's room is never that bad and he helps pick up in there. We are considering introducing chores and have started this informally with the introduction of a Dust Buster... it is Leif's job to clean around the cat box with the Dust Buster... a job he does with gusto, precision and pride.

In some attempt to try something new, this weekend I am buying four new laundry baskets. One for each of the main areas of the house aimed to collect things. Not laundry, things. Then the baskets can be carried around and stuff returned to where it goes. Or in a pinch, stuff stuck in there and then set up off the floor (on the couch?) so the cleaner can get what she needs done, done.

Believe it or not, this is mostly AB's idea and one he swears he brought up months ago. Of course then I took it as, "yes we need more laundry baskets for the dirty laundry!" And I bought baskets, for laundry.

Anyone have any wonderful solutions?

No comments: