Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How About A Big Hand For The Little Lady

Dear Hearts, let us now sing the praises of the great, American Housekeeper.  I don't mean those frazzled wives and mothers trying to keep their families and houses in order while working full-time jobs.  I mean those wonderful gals (or guys) who are paid to come into your home weekly or bi-monthly, and, like magical elves or Snow White, clean your house while you're at work.

For soooooo many years, like many of you I suspect, I never saw myself hiring someone to clean my house for me.  I thought only frivolous and neglectful women admitted to being unable (or unwilling) to scrub their own floors and bathtubs.  I saw this as particularily sinful and indulgent for myself because I didn't have any children to blame, just me and my husband.  Then one day, said husband made a fatal mistake.  When I asked him to help clean house because I had a really busy schedule at work, he joked that he, "was in charge of the outside," and I, "was in charge of the inside."  That's when it dawned on me that he had hired a gardener 10 years earlier.  We didn't even own a lawnmower!!  I immediately overcame my previously held notions about housework and grabbed the classifieds.  That is the day an angel named Julie came into my life.  Julie turned out to be a wonderful soul with a sunny disposition, a love of animals ,and she was a darned good housekeeper,  Every other week, for 5 years, Julie worked her magic on my dirty house.  My heart would quite literally skip a beat with delight on those days as I turned the corner on my street coming home from work just knowing she had been there all afternoon putting my nest back in order.  And why not...I deserved it.

When I decided to move from California, back to Texas after my divorce, I think I cried more about leaving Julie behind than I did over my failed marriage.  I can remember her helping me clean my house after the movers had loaded up my furniture.  We stood in the driveway and hugged like sisters being torn apart by CPS, then I gave her all the contents of my liquor cabinet, my yorkie licked her kind face one last time and she got into her Lexus (Julie had a very successful cleaning business) and drove out of my life.

Ladies, if you don't think you can afford a housekeeper and you are killing yourself trying to do it all...think again.  We all have busy, busy lives and there is more shame in denying your family and yourself precious time together than there is in paying someone to scrub your toilets.  I could kick myself for the days I spent cleaning when I could have been doing something I love.  Besides, getting your environment clean and keeping it clean is a big component of getting organized.  It's a lot easier to focus on cleaning out that closet in the guest room or sorting out the papers on your desk when you're not stressed about housework.

Whether you're a full time employee or a full time mom, consider hiring a housekeeper.  Then enjoy those precious days every two weeks when you can walk into your house after a long day and without a worry in the world, pour yourself a glass of wine, kick off your shoes, sit back and smell the Pine Sol.

Happy Organizing


  1. Epiphany! On more than one occasion, my husband has politely suggested that I hire someone. I have interpreted that as him trying to infer that I need a break, and that I shouldn't have to do all the housework AND raise the kids. I proudly turn him down, saying, "I'm totally capable of doing everything, Honey!" I'm just now realizing that his suggestions haven't been complimentary like, "Oh sweetie you just do too much around here, why don't you let someone else do it for once". I think they are more like, "This place is a mess, we need some help in here stat!" I'm housekeeper hunting tomorrow...because my kids deserve it. ;)

  2. Can I have an Amen?! Good for you. You will be amazed at the positive effect this decision will have on your whole family. One last piece of advice...resist the urge to clean up before the housekeeper comes. Good luck.