So your cleaner called in sick. Awww, poor diddums……
Ok, so we know this is a first world problem, let’s acknowledge that right from the beginning.
Juggling the challenges of raising children, holding a family together, working long hours, running businesses, zipping to after school appointments, childcare pick-ups and goodness knows what else, means that finding time in our crazy lives to clean the house usually comes in dead last on the ‘to do’ list. By the end of the week, we’re run ragged, and for many of us, having a cleaner to help has pretty much become essential to keeping the household running (somewhat) smoothly.
Often, ‘cleaning day’ is looked forward to by everyone in the house and regarded as the best help the family gets all week. In our house, I know we counted on our cleaner to help get the house ready for the weekend rush, get through the piles of washing that had missed out again and again through the week, and make sure the beds got fresh sheets regularly (never a strength).
So, what happens when your cleaner suddenly can’t make it?
Unless you’re using a big agency with plenty of casuals, it’s usually game over for your regular cleaning day.
If your life is anything like ours, this will, without a doubt, happen when you’re already stressed to the max and most need your cleaner. Invariably, it will be the week that work has been super demanding, the mother-in-law is coming to stay, your kid’s birthday party is the next day or some other equivalent event where you were really counting on help.
The extra pressure of having your time totally booked up and then having to somehow suddenly find half a day that isn’t there to clean the house can really do your head in.
But instead of tearing your hair out, here are some tactics to help cope when the service your household has come to count on goes unavailable.
Deal with it tactfully
First of all, deal with it tactfully.
It’s not their fault, it’s simply Murphy’s law.
Our cleaners are human like the rest of us, they get the flu too, they also have kids that get sick and can’t go to childcare, and they’re probably feeling guilty but out of alternatives by the time they’ve contacted you.
Consider your options
One possibility is to ask your cleaner if they can arrange a replacement, or if they have someone they refer to when things like this happen.
Maybe you’ve accumulated a couple of phone numbers you could try too.
If not, then….
Narrow your list down to essentials only.
Work out which areas of the house have to be dealt with and do only those things – perfection can wait!
Usually, this will end up being something like a light clean of the kitchen, a thorough clean of the main bathroom, tidying the laundry and vacuuming the main areas.
Everyone steps up
Like all times when the side is one down, it’s time for everyone in the house to step up.
Everyone doing just one extra task will really move things along.
Now that you’ve worked out your priorities, allocate tasks.
Set the timer on your phone
This is a good one, especially if you’re struggling to everyone helping.
Psychologically, setting a time limit lets disinclined kids know there will be an end to the heinous task of (heaven forbid) having to help with the housework.
It will also help give the adults involved the mental bench strength to push through any whinging and whining on a day that’s probably already been difficult.
Do 30 minutes, and then everyone gets a break. Repeat as required.
Have a plan to maintain it
Once you’ve spent the time to get things into a fairly decent shape, it’s worth trying to maintain it.
This doesn’t mean that everyone has to take on a load of extra tasks every day. Rather, it’s aimed at doing just enough to hold things together until normality returns.
As we’ve written about previously, keeping on top of the laundry definitely seems to help keep things ticking over properly, as does making sure the bed is made each morning, and the dishwasher is stacked and run each night.
Choose which things seem essential for your household and try and stick to them.
Hopefully these quick and simple tips will help make a difference. Remember the results come from putting them into practice!
We also have an excellent window cleaning service with rave reviews on board, servicing most areas of Sydney.
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We encourage enquiries from small businesses in the fields of house cleaning, commercial cleaning, window cleaning, roof & gutter cleaning, chimney sweeping, high-pressure cleaning and pool cleaning.
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