Friday, June 15, 2018

Small changes, more space. . . . . .

After clearing and cleaning everything on the dresser recently, I decided to
 work on making the somewhat tight dining room a more useful space for
 everyday living,
All it took was some editing, removing several small pieces from corners, 
and then turning the table from being on the diagonal to straight.
I'm so happy with the outcome, the room feels a lot larger.

Have you noticed how corners can often collect things?
 "Oh, just stick it there in the corner, I'll find a home for it later."
When the wine bottles are more than the wine rack will hold -
 "Just put them in that corner for the time being."
'TO DO' file folders, to be read magazines, a handbag, the extra camera
 and so forth. . . . . .all suddenly seem piled on a chair in the corner.

When it came time to eat with guests, quickly hiding things out of sight,
moving chairs about and doing a fast mop and dust in those corners filled
 with furniture items was required. I knew there had to be a better way to
 manage this small room so it could be used more efficiently at any time of day.

Housework is no longer near the top of my list of favorite things to do - how
about you?  If you still enjoy it you are much younger than me and can bend,
kneel down - and then get up again - and push a vacuum cleaner without 
excruciating shoulder pain. . . . . . no matter how many so-called lightweight 
versions you buy! "Oh Bob," seen struggling up the front steps with a large box.
  "Not another Hoover surely."

Yes, I've been offered, and have considered, hiring a cleaner, some of my friends 
already do this. I don't actually hate cleaning because I do love a clean, neat and tidy
home, but having someone else dealing with my 'stuff' has always worried me to the 
point I know I would be cleaning like a fiend before they arrive, then afterward,
 going around checking everything closely and perhaps discovering they didn't do 
such a great job after all!

I'd love to know your personal feelings regarding having a cleaner/cleaning
 service in your home. Do you leave when they come, or watch through a
 chink in the door as they dust your priceless (to you) heirloom bits and bobs?
 Do you hold back any criticism until you can share with a significant other
 because you're scared to chastise the cleaner? Do you ever wonder why
 on earth you're paying for something you should still be able to do yourself, 
without ending up at the back/hip/knee doctor's office?

"Handle those butter pats with care, please."  More bits & bobs!

Of course you don't have to share whether or not you have a cleaner, unless 
you don't mind us knowing. If you do I will probably be a little envious - well 
actually as jealous as all h--l if I'm totally honest here! So, if you do, please give 
me ideas as to how you handle this service when a complete stranger 
comes into your home to work some cleaning magic. . . . . which hopefully
 matches up to your own standards.

I can now keep four chairs at the table at all times.
I can write, use the laptop, enjoy a coffee or tea, read a magazine. . . . . 
. . . . . . and we are eating more meals here now.

Note there's a nice basket under the corner chair - I'll stash my camera there
 because I need to grab it in a hurry to take photos of birds, snakes (click if you 
missed that story) etc. on the front porch to share with you!

Today I've changed the flowers and added gorgeous pale pink peonies from LIDL 
to enjoy this weekend - will share them later.

FYI - for those of you who were so kind to comment on my hair concerns,
It's looking quite gorgeous today thanks to Suzi who worked her magic 
on my tresses!  No cutting, just beautiful color with the help of foils, posh 
products - they do seem to work so much better than drugstore brands - 
 and a perfect smooth, stick straight blowout.  
Yes, the growing longer will continue. . . . . . .at least for now.

Nearly the weekend - have a great one with those awesome Dads! 


  1. I have a house cleaner once a month come in to do the floors, light dusting, the bathroom, and kitchen counters and stove top. It took a long time to find one I trust and love having clean for me. Sometimes I go to the gym while she is here or go grocery shopping, but most often I just sit at my computer. In between there is a little cleaning, but she does the main cleaning. I do pick some things off the floor before she arrives. I tell her it is like a birthday gift every month. I just love, love your beautiful cottage.

  2. Your dining room looks all spiffed up! I have had cleaners in the past when I was working. Sometimes I worked from home, and they would just clean around me. Other times, with a trusted cleaner, I would meet them at the house, then leave and have them lock up when they left. I have had some great cleaners that were individual cleaners, not working for huge franchised cleaning companies. Then I tried a couple of the franchise places. I was never happy with them and one time I walked into my kitchen to find two of the cleaners going through my medicine cabinet!! They made stupid excuses. I called the owner of the company after they left and told him. He acted like he believed their excuses!! So I fired the company.

    I will say they thought I did not clean before they arrived, I would pick up any messes and I usually always cleaned the toilet first, lol.

  3. I confess that I looked around at my corners after reading this...oy vey. While I have never hired a cleaner, I owned a cottage cleaning business for several years. This consisted of opening cottages for the season and later closing them. Some clients wanted weekly help. I had many special requests and I was pleased to honor them. If I were you, I’d ask my friends for a referral and go from there. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone clean and give you lots of time back? (Usually, these folks know how to do a job efficiently and well.) You certainly deserve it!

  4. I don't have a cleaner, and certainly don't need one - my flat is small, comprising a living room, study, bedroom, shower room/toilet and kitchen. Also, living on my own and being out for work all day plus being at my partner's nearly every weekend means there simply isn't much to do. The little I need to do I really enjoy, and do it regularly. Oh, and I love my empty surfaces and "free" corners, not all that much stuff around in my place - I would have having to move things about every time I want to use a certain chair or table.
    My sister has a cleaner who comes every Wednesday morning to do the "big jobs" such as hoovering and wiping all the floors, cleaning the bathrooms and so on. My sister is then at work, so the cleaner can do things at her own pace and to her own methods. My sister only makes sure she has the necessary products ready, and they agree on regular jobs that don't need doing every week, such as when to clean the windows or wipe down all the kitchen cabinets etc. She is very happy with that service and trusts her cleaner, even though they did not know each other before. It was upon recommendation from a friend/neighbour that she found her cleaner.

  5. I had a cleaner when the children were small and we both worked. After a while I noticed that the children had adopted a rather unpleasant attitude towards keeping their things tidy. We got rid of the cleaner so the children could learn about responsibility.
    Now I am considered a Senior, I am very lucky. Out government has a scheme whereby they pay for someone to come and help with housework or whatever I need help with. I pay only about one third of the commercial rate and all the workers must be screened by the Police and complete several certificates of training before they are allowed to work under this scheme. I am eligible for three hours each week, but I don't use it all. Once a month I have a man come to clean the fans and the air-conditioners. It takes less than one hour.
    Someday I will need more help, but not at the moment. Other people have somebody come every day and do all sorts of things like cleaning the shower recess, cleaning the oven, windows, dusting, whatever is needed. It includes gardening and shopping too. The idea is to keep people in their own homes.
    It used to bother me that someone would not respect the things that I hold close to my heart. My way around this is to keep the help at the level I can cope with and to be prepared to live with a layer of dust. This is my life, not someone else's. This is my home, not theirs. I know that my friends have had unfortunate errors made even under the same scheme as I use.
    I suggest that you and Bob just decide on one or two occasional tasks and get help with those. Be very very fussy. Check their references. Tidying is not the same as cleaning! Don't pay for tidying. Start small. Toe in the water, and so forth. It does seem like an invasion of your privacy, but through time many people have had help in their homes and they survived. You are rightfully proud of your home and you need to be able to stay that way.

  6. I have a cleaner, but she was also a Carer, so she kindly looks after my husband also. That gives me an hour or so to go out while she is here. I am so fortunate in that she is very experienced and was once a housekeeper to the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall. I dont clean before she comes, I just let her get on with it. Yes, it isnt always perfect but it takes a great weight off my mind, and I love coming back to find a clean fridge and ironed sheets!

  7. Dear Mary, I've had a weekly cleaner when I worked full time. She was efficient and loyal. Now that we live in the country we do most of our cleaning. Every once in a while I hire a friend to help me do the "big stuff" like windows, etc. We have a little help in the garden. Two brothers, teenagers, come to help once a week. They are a delight to have around.

    Your "new" dining room is beautiful. In most households dining rooms are only used rarely. We also like to use ours every day. I try to keep it uncluttered. Can't wait to see your new hairdo.

  8. Hi Mary, your dininng room looks gorgeous, I so love it and my fav is your buffet with the great looking cloches. You have inspired me, I haven't used my cloches in a while.
    I do have a cleaner, we have always and she does different chores as well. When she cleans windows I give her a hand. I'm do one that decorates and cleans the furniture I'm about to make displays.
    Thanks for dropping by dear friend. Enjoy your weekend.

  9. I have never had a house cleaner in my life, not even when I was working outside the home. I've never minded cleaning and I don't like to have strangers in my home. I'm younger than you - I'll be 56 in August - so I don't have any problems yet with bending or getting down on my knees and then getting up. After my meniscus surgery last year, I kneeled on a folded towel. My aunt used to have a housekeeper that came in twice a month. She wasn't from a big service; she was an independent woman that she found through a friend. Now that my aunt is retired, she can't afford this housekeeper, so she had to let her go. However, my aunt has had both knees replaced so now she can't get down on her hands and knees. I asked her how she cleans corners and behind toilets, etc. and she said she just uses a mop. As for your shoulders with vacuuming, have you tried a Roomba?

  10. Hello Mary,
    Good for you for persevering with the hair growing. It can be frustrating, I know. I love the new look in your dining room. We use ours frequently, too, although when it's just the two of us, we sit at the table in the kitchen area.

    I had a cleaner when we lived in Ecuador, but I never really enjoyed it. I loved the clean house part, I just didn't like someone in my space. I don't mind cleaning my house, although with work it doesn't get done as frequently or as deeply as I like. Tim helps with windows and scrubbing floors when needed, so that's a big assist. I'm planning on retiring in a couple of years and a serious deep clean will be one of the first things on my list of things to do.


I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.

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