When I have long hours of uninterrupted time, free to potter around the house at my own pace (with a list of course). Tending to the cleaning tasks that have mounted up over the week, preferably with a podcast or two lined up to keep my ears company while my hands are busy… THAT is when I enjoy cleaning. Saturday morning used to be it for me. A couple of hours of cleaning, filling my vases with fresh flowers then pondering over what else to do with the expanse of weekend that lay ahead (all from a fresh house).
But since having my two boys, the above scenario has literally never happened. Not once.
Cleaning in my house currently looks like a mad dash to get 10 minutes of something half-finished before I’m beckoned onto something more pressing like a dirty nappy or a misplaced Tranformers figurine. Alternatively, it’s a whip around tidy late in the evening when all I want to do is fall onto the couch and watch Bake Off. I do not like cleaning when it looks like this. Rushed, unfocused and unfinished.
For a while there, I was embracing The Organised Mum Method. For those who aren’t au fait with Gemma’s method, it’s 30 minutes a day, focused on specific rooms each day. I enjoyed the routine of the whole thing, but my problem was that I would spend that 30 minutes tidying before I even got anywhere near the cleaning part. I would say our house has a less than average amount of ‘stuff’ in it. But I feel like the piles of laundry, toys strewn everywhere and cupboards emptied by my toddler are just never-ending. Because, well, they are.
Gavin and I have some life changes coming up, mainly with work and mainly involving some travel for us both. With no real Mon-Fri pattern as such. So our calendar is about to get even more sporadic, and in a way, hectic than it already is. It was at this point that I finally admitted that something would have to give. And that something is the cleaning of our house.
I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I cannot keep on top of it all. So, we’ve hired a cleaner. Agnes is due to come over once a fortnight for a couple of hours in the beginning. Although I have friends who tell me that I’ll soon be asking her over once a week when I realise the joy of coming home to a clean house. One of my pals actually joked that she would rather get rid of her husband than her cleaner!
I live in a very average-sized house, in a very run of the mill housing estate, so I did feel slightly self-conscious at the idea of getting a cleaner in. It almost feels like a failure that I’m not able to manage everything. But the truth is that I can’t. And I’d rather not. So I’ve brushed aside those feelings and I’m looking forward to reaping the benefits of the extra help. And because I think it’s helpful to get to the nitty-gritty of these things, I’ll tell you that our cleaner charges £25 for two hours. Which is quite standard in Scotland, but I’m sure that varies across the UK.
After telling a few pals, a couple of them have confessed that they love cleaning too much to hand it over to someone else. They find cleaning therapeutic. And with the Mrs Hinch fever that has swept the nation, I can completely see how that would be the case.
I don’t know yet if my new relationship with Agnes is going to be life changing. But I do know that I’ll still need to set a 30 minute timer to get the tidying part done. My hope is that I can relax a bit more knowing that those unfinished jobs like cleaning the skirtings or the fridge are being handled for me.
What are your feelings on cleaning? Do you love it or loathe it?
Do you, or would you, hire a cleaner to help?