Preparing For The Maid’s Arrival

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 12:19 pm

My mother always cleaned before the maid came. I swore I’d never do that.

Sociologists 100 years from now will probably blame the Internet phenomenon of publishing one’s most private details on children watching the insanity of their mother cleaning the house before the maid arrived. It didn’t help that mothers wanting their children to take some responsibility for their rooms while paying someone else to clean them said, “We have to clean up before she arrives so she doesn’t know what a pigsty we live in.”

By now you may have noticed your mother was not a raving lunatic when she gave directions or advice and usually had some rational thought behind what she did. (Even if you still disagree, getting to the age where you are ready to pay for your own maid gives one a remarkable appreciation for the rationality of an older generation’s views. One hopes.)

Maids are not the highest status workers in society. To get satisfaction from their job most will try very hard to leave a room much neater than they found it. They did not sign on, however, to memorize the location of all your possessions and return each thing to it’s proper spot.

This leads to books being replaced on any bookshelf in the room or house.  Sometimes the books will be put in backwards so that at your leisure you can go through the bookshelf and put them were they really belong. Clean clothes your daughter didn’t put away from the pile on the sofa might be carefully folded and put in your husband’s sock drawer because that was where there was room. All pictures might be a trifle askew just to let you know they’ve been dusted.

Your mother’s solution was to clean before the maid came.  You, in the spirit of instilling personal responsibility, can try screaming at your family that the maid is coming and they better clean their rooms, or you can try a more laid-back approach.

Designate a ‘junk space’ in each room. Ask the maid to put stray items in the junk space. I use the bed for bedrooms, a counter for the kitchen and a drawer for more public areas. After the maid comes, put away everything in the public junk drawers immediately.  Put your items and your husband’s items away immediately.

Please note I am a child of the 60’s & 70’s and a committed women’s libber. Putting away your husband’s items rather than nagging him will greatly increase the happiness quotient of the universe – particularly your universe. If you are stressing out over picking up after your husband try asking him to pick up something (socks, tools, whatever) before the maid comes once. If he has trouble remembering, try saying you don’t want a birthday present you just want him to pick up the something routinely.  If it still doesn’t work go back to the point about you doing it increases sattwa  in the universe.

Get your kids to put away things on their bed before they do anything fun they want to do. If you don’t, they will shift it to a side table or chair & a small mountain will grow that you will have to spend a weekend with them demolishing. (been there, done that)

If you’re new – I wrote the How to Hire A Maid like a book. Click Table of Contents for future articles and links to old blogs in a more comprehensible order – or just click here & go to the bottom to read it straight through by scrolling up to each article.


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