Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #52

A Year of Gratitude #52: Cleaning Crew

Sometimes you have to face the cold, hard facts. It's not always pleasant to realize your faults, but when you do, it's important to share your findings with the person who matters the most. In my case, this person is Steve.

I've never been a "cleaner." In fact, while I'm super organized in certain aspects of my life (my pantry/cupboards/classroom/basement toy organization), I am a slob in others. I wasn't raised by parents who demanded that I keep things spotless. Sure, I had to have a picked up room... and I had chores, but my parents were not neat-freaks and didn't instill in me a need to be super tidy and meticulously clean.

I've got no problems with this.  :-)   My husband however... was raised by a mother who was a bit of a neat-freak. He has her need to keep things spot-less and what I consider to be heavy cleaning on my part, Steve considers to be merely picking things up.

He scrubs the counters with scolding hot soapy water after every meal... I'm good if I wipe up with a paper towel.

Steve moves things around to vacuum and dust... I go around what's there. It's not like anyone is going to lift stuff up anyway right?? 

The battle of our views on cleaning caused so many disagreements, hurt feelings, and bitterness. We'd let the house go so far and then have to bust our asses to get it cleaned up. He'd become resentful of me for not doing more work, and I just wanted to sit and watch tv instead of being barked at by him. It wasn't pretty.

While Steve was working at Burt's Bees, he had shared our mutual frustrations with each other about our difference of opinion on cleanliness to his co-worker Christy. She told him that she and her husband had the same issue... and their resolution was to get a cleaning lady.

Well... Steve told me about this and we decided to have Christy's cleaning lady (it was actually a few people) come and clean the house. It was awesome.

Then I found Suzanne... she was recommended to me by one of my MOMS Club friends in NC. We were talking about cleaning and I said we had cleaners... when my friend said Suzanne cleaned her house every other week for $50 I was AMAZED at the price. I emailed Suzanne and ditched our cleaners for Suzanne's services. We had Suzanne clean our house for almost a year. She was WONDERFUL and grew to be a friend.

When we moved to Georgia, I wasn't sure where to even start with finding someone to clean for us. Being in Johns Creek, there's a lot of cleaning people around, but they charge an arm and a leg. We're paying the same for our crew that we paid the cleaning group that Christy referred us to back in NC.

Our cleaning crew is made up of Graciela, her husband and two sons (they're in their 20s). Graciela was referred to me from a mom on Atlanta Area Mommies. They do an incredible job and clean from top to bottom. It's a thorough scrubbing and gets us through two weeks without any problems. 

Not only is it nice to have other people clean for me (I LOATHE CLEANING), but it's nice that Steve and I don't fight about cleaning, we don't break our backs trying to clean on the weekend, when we SHOULD be enjoying our time together, and we're guaranteed that our house is getting the proper interior maintenance. I like knowing that at any given moment, someone could come over and I wouldn't be embarrassed of the appearance of my house. 

Anyway, I'm thankful that Steve and I are able to afford someone to clean our home, and we have a schedule in place so that we don't have to waste any time disagreeing on what's considered clean or not.

The investment has helped our marriage and I'm thankful that it's one less thing to worry about.


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