March 6, 2007

The housecleaners came yesterday and OH MY GOD, people. My house is so goddamn clean it’s insane. I can’t believe how great it looks—the floors were actually gleaming. I didn’t know the floors were capable of such a thing. Sure, a dull, smudged shine right after a thorough vacuuming, I’ve seen that before, but gleaming?

They did something fancy with the guest bathroom towels, even! Look at this:
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I have no idea how they folded those. The towel somehow gets folded in half, then back up? I’m never touching them again. That’s right, I’ll be wiping my hands on my jeans from now on, you got a problem with that?

And check this out: that is my reflection. In the TOASTER. Do you know how grody our toaster normally is, with the fingerprints and the crumbs and so on?
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Also, they cleaned underneath Riley’s crib, as evidenced by the odd placement of his under-the-bed octopus. Or maybe the octopus went there on its own, I’m not sure.
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They cleaned the inside of the microwave, all our windows (even the giant windows in the front room, holy JESUS), the mirrors, the blinds, the counters, the floors (gleaming!), the tubs, under the couches, the toilets, the coffee-maker, the bookshelves, and I shit you not, they cleaned the leaves of my houseplants.

(Before anyone asks again, yes I’ve read Nickel and Dimed, and yes I agree that some housecleaning services are probably out to rip you off and treat their employees like crap. Maybe it’s best to avoid the big chain companies like Merry Maids, I don’t know.)

JB was home for a little while yesterday and said he saw one of the workers lifting off the top of the stove to get the whole thing cleaned. I . . . did not know the top of the stove could be lifted off. It’s now immaculate, by the way. You could, I don’t know, give birth on it. If you had to. I’m not saying it would be a good idea, I’m just saying you could do it confident in the fact that it was very, very clean.

Best $90 ever spent. Seriously. If you’re in the Seattle area, I highly recommend this company, and by the way you should check out SundryBuzz today because I’ve got a review posted about Angie’s List (where I found the cleaning service) and it includes a coupon you can use for a $10 discount on an Angie’s List membership, should you be in the market for such a thing.

Lastly, apropos of nothing, here is a photo illustrating Cat’s semi-clever, semi-annoying habit of ringing a bell when she wants to be let outside (I feel compelled to clarify that this was taken on Sunday and therefore the floors were not yet GLEAMING, and also Riley was getting over a cold and that’s what’s up with the super-pitiful expression).

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Comments

41 Responses to “Dispatch from spic-and-spanville”

  1. Craig on March 6th, 2007 1:15 pm

    Checkmate, JB. Take it from me… your marriage will be so much the better for the $90 spent every couple of weeks.

    Worth. Every. Penny.

  2. warcrygirl on March 6th, 2007 1:16 pm

    Your cat rings a bell? Ours just yowls incessantly. I’m sitting here, looking at dust and cobwebs and other horrors lurking in the corners of my house and I want floors that GLEAM. *sniff*

  3. Jennifer on March 6th, 2007 1:23 pm

    I’m so jealous. I don’t think I could trust strangers in my house (long story), but I would oh so love a beautifully gleaming house, too!

  4. Jen on March 6th, 2007 1:24 pm

    THAT FACE!!!! I want to devour those cheeks!

  5. Mary O on March 6th, 2007 1:26 pm

    Wow! My cleaning lady charges $75 a visit and she doesn’t nearly do ALL THAT! Sounds like you have a good thing going on!

    I hope Riley is feeling better. Toddler colds are so pitiful.

  6. Sally on March 6th, 2007 1:31 pm

    that is a cool cat trick, even if it is annoying

  7. hello insomnia on March 6th, 2007 1:41 pm

    I wish my cat could ring a bell instead of resorting to the annoy-the-hell-out-of-her method, which works every time.

  8. Jem on March 6th, 2007 1:45 pm

    LOLZZZZZ@CAT

  9. Josh on March 6th, 2007 1:45 pm

    Congratulations on the semi-awesome cat trick. My cat just shreds holes in the garage door when it wishes to be let in/out.

    And I’m really glad you found a good cleaning service. Be nice to them, my Mom used to be a maid. I was very impressed with the toaster. Not so much with the lack of stove knowlege. I’m a bachelor and I knew that, but I guess that’s from fixing the stove, not cleaning it, so sort of different.

    And every time I see that octopus I get this feeling of envy. What a most righteously ass kicking stuffed animal. I bang my head in a moment of metal reverence. \m/>

  10. Donna on March 6th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Is JB agreeing that all that shininess is the worth $90? :) Sigh. . . I’m retired so have no excuses for not making MY house shine like that.

    And about that Riley. . . I thought I’d already seen the cutest pictures of him. I guess not until today!

  11. Swistle on March 6th, 2007 2:10 pm

    That is so awesome. So, so awesome. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny.

    And I think the octopus looks kind of regal and awesome sitting in that chair.

  12. katie on March 6th, 2007 2:27 pm

    my sister’s dog rings a bell to be let out. but i swear that when they taught her that…we got trained to get up whenever she wanted us to get up and pay attention to her. pavlov in reverse.

  13. Christina on March 6th, 2007 2:37 pm

    My dog rings a bell to go outside too.

    My sister started it with her dog and I thought it was such a good idea that I taught mine when I got a puppy!

  14. Jan on March 6th, 2007 2:47 pm

    I don’t believe I have ever seen a toaster that shiny, except maybe in a store when it was brand new. That is…damn shiny.

  15. Michelle on March 6th, 2007 2:48 pm

    Yes! Be nice to the house cleaners. When I had a lady coming to clean, I used to leave her a thank you card. I came home early once and saw how hard she worked. Oh my. I miss having help….

  16. Liz in Australia on March 6th, 2007 2:52 pm

    Shiny! Most of the time we can’t even see our floors, let alone clean them…

  17. Amy on March 6th, 2007 2:53 pm

    Look how tall The Boy is now! He’s as tall as Cat! Cute.

  18. Em on March 6th, 2007 3:03 pm

    This post was like a ray of sunshine! A sign from God, perhaps, that I too should call a cleaning service. you know, just to see how much better they can do it than me. Amen.

  19. Jo on March 6th, 2007 3:10 pm

    Cat rocks, what a clever feline!

    I’m with Swistle on the octopus, regal is the word – surveying his/her domain

  20. canknitian on March 6th, 2007 3:12 pm

    Poor bub. He looks just how I feel.

    Glad to hear the cleaning service blew your mind!

  21. fellowmom on March 6th, 2007 3:44 pm

    I am so happy for you! My cleaner doesn’t do so thorough a job, but I have a similar feeling of elation I get when I first come home after she’s cleaned. It doesn’t ever get old, not after 5 years. It’s always hard when that first spoonful of applesauce gets lobbed onto the floor, but what are you going to do. . . I apologize for mentioning N&D’d. No need to grind on your non-exploitative bliss!

  22. Tracy on March 6th, 2007 5:03 pm

    Wow, I’m happy that you found a cleaning service you are happy with. I spent way more to get a one-time “deep cleaning” of my old house right before we put it on the market and boy did these women do a crappy job. There was so much they left uncleaned (dingy kitchen cabinets anyone? dusty baseboards anyone?). We also had them shampoo our carpets and they guy rammed the machine into our bed leg, damaging the wood finish and our sofa, discoloring the fabric on the side. And they left our windows totally streaky–my Mom did a better job when she came down to help us and she was free! They were highly recommended by our realtor too. That’s why I feel like I have to clean house myself. I’m so worried about them not doing a good job or actually damaging our property. Any recommendations in the DC area???

  23. fifi on March 6th, 2007 5:05 pm

    Wow, Riley is looking about , oh, fifteen in that shot! I’m crying, too, because I have a house that needs that sort of attention, but we can’t afford to think about getting a cleaner.

  24. Emily on March 6th, 2007 5:07 pm

    That is a pretty cute cat. It kind of looks as though its been ‘caught’ in the act.

  25. Kate on March 6th, 2007 5:48 pm

    Will your cleaners come to Canada? I am only asking because I want them to MOVE INTO MY HOUSE.

  26. laughing mommy on March 6th, 2007 6:45 pm

    I’m having a daydream that it was really ME that had my house cleaned… ahhhhh! And now I’m relaxing in my spotless house.

    In reality, I spent all night at the ER with my poor sick daughter who we just found out has pneumonia.

    So the squalor will just have to wait….

    Congrats on the clean house. You are making me consider hiring someone!

  27. Elissa on March 6th, 2007 7:19 pm

    Dude!!! I am sooooo jealous of the help with the cleaning!!! My hubby doesn’t want his space “invaded.” One time when he whined when I brought up the subject of hiring help I paraphrased you by saying “And do you even KNOW where the 409 bottle is?!?!?!” Heh. On the other hand, he did love the sink sprayer trick that I learned from JB!

    And, I’m little embarrassed to admit as well as a teeny bit proud – I do fold my towels like that!!!!! My Momma taught me!

  28. Nancy on March 6th, 2007 7:35 pm

    I am totally addicted to my housecleaning service. It’s worse than drugs, honest. Can’t quit. Don’t want to!

  29. Em on March 6th, 2007 7:35 pm

    I am seriously wowed by cat. As someone who has almost always had cats, it’s amazing that you taught this one such a useful trick! Trust me, it’s way impressive.

  30. Jennifer on March 6th, 2007 8:22 pm

    Cat! Child! Octopus! GLEAM!

    We have been debating hiring a cleaning service since our constant bickering about the State of Clean in our home is one day going cause one or both of us to wind up on the news. I think your successful results have sealed it – for me at least!

  31. Chiara on March 6th, 2007 8:22 pm

    Damn that octopus looks good.

  32. Brooke on March 6th, 2007 10:10 pm

    Waaah! I wanna cleaning service!

  33. Melanie on March 6th, 2007 10:15 pm

    Oh MY GOD, the toaster!! The plants!! The floors and towels and stove!!! I need a cleaning service. That’s what I’m asking for for Xmas this year, or my birthday next year (too bad it’s gone this year). For something. The awesomeness!!! The look on sick boy’s face in that picture is precious, he’s got those squeezy cheeks. I have to say I’m glad my cat doesn’t go out and can’t ring the bell, anyway, or I’d probably shoot him. I bet it was cute the first time and now it’s just “oh, damn, it’s that FUCKING CAT again”.

  34. charla on March 6th, 2007 10:23 pm

    Omigod — I just wrote them and literally begged them to cross the bridges and come to west seattle —fyi if anyone hires them, Sundry can get a 10% off on her next cleaning for the referral. Cat, Dog, Kid, Husband all cute–the cleaners??? Priceless.

  35. Orange Peacock on March 6th, 2007 10:25 pm

    I’m sorry I brought up the book. I didn’t mean to upset you. It’s just that, well, people who are more affluent than me and my family don’t always think about things like that, and having been raised by a woman who got worked to the bone cleaning other people’s houses, I feel weird about the whole thing. Just like it’s unfair to pass judgement on whether people work or raise kids as a stay-at-home, it was unfair of me to make it sound like I had a problem with a personal decision that is obviously benefitting your family, especially as it’s none of my business. I don’t have a problem with it, and shiny surfaces are always exciting.

  36. sundry on March 6th, 2007 10:54 pm

    No worries about the book mention, I just wanted to make it clear I’m aware of those issues. I don’t know how to contribute to finding a solution, exactly—it would be nice if I were paying the person who actually cleans rather than a business owner, but I hope that the workers at Four Season are being compensated more fairly than a large chain. Maybe I’ll ask the owner?

    If the workers are not getting taken advantage of, then I don’t see the downside. I provide work, they get paid to do it.

  37. Eviedee on March 6th, 2007 11:47 pm

    $90 dollars….are you kidding me? That’s SO SO awesome! Congrats on your clean abode!

  38. Pam on March 7th, 2007 8:10 am

    I had a cleaning service back when I was working full-time. I was home sick one day, and saw the cleaning ladies dropped off by the owner of the business in a big-ass Mercedes, which made me uncomfortable for some reason. So to try to make myself feel better, I kept snacks and sodas on hand for them (not being sure that they were given a lunch break) and made sure they knew were welcome to help themselves. And once in a while I left an extra bit of cash for them, especially if the house was particularly messy.

    When I was home on maternity leave, one of the older ladies started telling me about her grandchildren (who were still in Poland, where she was from). She looked so sad, I insisted she sit down and hold my newborn for a while. It made us both feel better.

  39. Jen on March 7th, 2007 11:33 am

    I am jealous in so many ways. Of the cleaning service. Of a cat who RINGS A FREAKING BELL to go outside. I’m not sure which I’m more jealous of, but for some reason the ringing of the bell is seriously hiliarious to me. Does she also ring a little bell when she would like you to fluff her pillows or bring her some fresh tuna?

  40. Allison on March 8th, 2007 6:50 am

    Heh, I have the same feelings about my cleaning person. I LOVE coming home to a clean house- it’s the best feeling and I have absolutely no guilt. I work my ass off and don’t mind paying someone to do a job that I can’t do as well. My husband and I bitched about cleaning more than anything else, and once we got a cleaning person, we stopped bitching… now we have to find something new to fight about!

  41. AZslick on March 8th, 2007 10:51 am

    One suggestion for assuaging any guilt about the conditions of the cleaning service worker compensation is to TIP. A $90 bill cries out for a $10 tip at least pressed into the hand of the lead cleaner. That’s a $1.25 an hour (taxfree) raise to their hourly wage assuming there was four people working 2 hours and the tip was evenly split. And it show your appreciation of their hard work and gleaming results

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