I am anal retentive about cleaning. I’ve always been this way. I’m 100% certain it was a learned trait that I got from my mother, who used to have a very calibrated routine for cleaning: all parts of the bathroom had to be cleaned every single week, usually Wednesday. The kitchen floor was swept weekly and mopped at least every other week. The bathtub was thoroughly washed after every single bath. The sinks were cleaned once a week. She usually did all of this, but my dad occasionally would help with sweeping and mopping the kitchen. When she cleaned the toilet, every single surface would get disinfected, even the sides of the tank, which most people don’t even think to clean.
I really do not enjoy cleaning at all, but I do love the feeling of being done cleaning and knowing that I am standing in a spick and span apartment. I’ve occasionally thought about what it would be like to have someone professionally clean my apartment, but there are two things going against this: a) I’m too cheap, and b) my standard of “clean” is really high, so the chances are also very high of my hating the job of whoever did the cleaning and never wanting to hire them again.
So on my local college’s alumnae Facebook page, someone recently asked for “reasonably priced” cleaning services that others would recommend. A women’s cooperative based in Brooklyn was recommended by a number of alumnae, and I looked at their website. On average for a 1 bedroom/1 bath apartment, they charge about $120, and it’s not by the hour (that sounded suspect, especially since they said on average the cleaner will spend about 4-6 hours cleaning. When broken down by the hour, that seems a bit too cheap to be true. It’s for “everything” – sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning countertops, disinfecting toilets. But when I looked at the details of how they define “cleaning toilet,” it simply says “clean toilet bowl.” Eh. That’s not the entire toilet. What about the seat – the top and the bottom? What about the handle, or the base of the bowl, where all kinds of nasty fecal matter accumulates? It says on their site that you can make specific requests or ask for “deep cleaning,” and after visiting your apartment, they would then adjust their quote based on your specifications.
At some point, I will succumb, maybe when my life circumstances change, but for now, I will pass.