I’ve always struggled to keep my home clean. I blame my mom for that. She used to tell me “If you can’t do a job right, then don’t do it.” She meant well, obviously it was encouragement to do a good job at my household chores. But, subconsciously, I chose to procrastinate my chores until I was ready to do a good job, which led me to creating more difficult jobs for myself because, with time, the jobs would get bigger and harder to accomplish.
Perfectionism has led me to procrastination on too many occasions, and to feelings of guilt and shame even more often. Have you ever felt guilty for the current state of your home? Ever pass up having a friend over because you’re embarrassed by the mess? Do you spend more of your day stressing about when it will all finally get done than you spend actually enjoying yourself? I’ve been there, and there’s one very simple solution.
Okay, it wasn’t easy to make the decision at first. I had to overcome a lot of mental blocks, but once I decided, it became the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Here’s what I did to get my home clean and finally spend more time with my kids: I hired help.
I invited a team of professionals into my home to do all the jobs I never get around to, because honestly I just don’t want to do them. They cleaned my bathrooms, they cleared cobwebs, they dusted, they scrubbed cabinets, they mopped floors, they cleaned out the window tracks. So many jobs I’ve spent months stressing about and avoiding, were finally done. It was freeing and relieving. It was a weight lifted.
The best part? The whole time they were doing these jobs for me, I was playing with my kids. We went to lunch, we played at the park, we laughed. I was freed up from that mental stress that I should be doing something else with my time, that need to be productive was finally silenced as I’d delegated my workload for the entire week.
I realize not everyone can afford house care workers on a regular basis, but even having them come in once and get things under control for you can be a serious game-changer. Give yourself the gift of peace and time with a major head start to your household chores.
Beliefs I had to overcome first:
- Only snobs hire house cleaners. False. You won’t become a snob for hiring a cleaning service to help you out – you become a snob if you choose to treat them with disrespect and stiff them on the tip.
- People only hire help for jobs they can’t do themselves. SO false. I’m sure you already pay a lot of people to help you make your life easier and save your precious time and energy. Have you ever used a car wash even though you know how to wash a car? Taken an Uber even though you know how to drive? Ordered take out even though you know how to cook? Ordered a product from Amazon even though you know how to go to a store and buy it yourself? Hiring a cleaning service is no different. You’re buying back your time and energy.
- You’re a bad mom if you can’t do everything yourself. SUPER FALSE! Okay, first off, you’re an amazing mom. I know because you care about and love your kids, and that’s enough. Secondly, you’re not meant to do everything for everyone all the time, all by yourself. They say it takes a village, and it really does. It’s just that our modern culture tends to require us to pay the villagers to help out sometimes. And third of all, housekeeping is NOT motherhood. housekeeping is part of living in a house, it’s everyone’s responsibility and there’s no rule that says mama’s gotta do it all herself. Hire help around the house creates more time for you to actually be present as a mother for your kids, instead of spending all your time going crazy over trying to clean up after them.
Get the most out of your cleaning visit:
- Declutter your surfaces. When your tables and counters are covered in clutter, your cleaners will have to waste a lot of time moving things around to clean under them – or they simply won’t clean under them at all to save on the time. Their job isn’t to put things away, it’s to wipe them and scrub them clean.
- Tidy up before they arrive. Don’t “preclean,” but do take everything to the room it belongs in and put it away. Pick up obvious trash, the things that would clog up a vacuum, or things they might not realize are trash (like broken toys and old magazines).
- Make plans to stay out of their way. One thing that can really slow down a clean team is having kids or pets underfoot. Let them do their job. Take advantage of this time and plan a day out with the kids or on your own if the kids have a sitter or school that day.