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Cleaning the House from the White Collar Ghetto

I am slightly, just slightly embarrassed to say that I don’t really know how to clean my house. Oh no, poor me, right? I sound like a big, spoiled brat but it’s more complicated than that. Ever since the recession hit I have been looking for ways to cut corners. The $500 monthly cleaning expense seemed like the most obvious and prudent solution. (Who can’t clean their own house?) Last week, in an effort to be financially responsible, I laid off our cleaning lady of eight years. It was a serious and sad breakup. I had been preparing for D-day, rehearsing my “your job has been made redundant” speech in the full-length mirror. She handled it well, even said she had actually been expecting it. Once it was over, I felt relieved.

For nearly twenty years now, I have employed a cleaning person. Some years she/he came once a week and others every other week. In the back of my mind I often felt a little, oh I don’t know, lame, because I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it myself. But I justified the expense, thinking that I would be more successful in my own career without the stress of a messy and (God forbid) dirty house. The household duties, scrubbing the bathroom, cleaning the baseboards and folding the laundry are best when left to the experts I told myself.

So here I am today, pondering how to clean the hardwood floors throughout the house. Is it simply water with a splash of white vinegar? Special hardwood cleaning fluid? Organic soap? Lemon fresh polish? A swiffer picker upper? A $500 dollar Dyson?  A Roomba? Ayy yi yi.  And that’s just the floors. After that there is the dilemma of cleaning the floor to ceiling glass shower, how does one attack that and with what sort of substance? Will I need gloves and a face mask?

I made a trip to the grocery store this week hoping to get inspired by the cleaning options available to me—the fledgling domestic mother. I have never seen so many “new and improved,” “better than ever,” “save your soul” products; it was downright overwhelming. Finally, I landed on something I simply could not pass up, The Evriholder Slipper Genie Microfiber Cleaning Slippers. Slippers that are actually mops? Now that’s my kind of house cleaning solution—passive floor mopping at its best. I know what I am getting the kids for Christmas.

 It’s only been a week and I miss my cleaning woman already. She came with all her stuff, including her vacuum cleaner, cobweb getter, stainless steel hoo hah, lemon fresh something or other and most importantly, her years of experience. Perhaps the $500 a month wasn’t so bad after all.

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