Friday, November 12, 2010

The BIZZ: Getting lost in the mess!

Perhaps it's best to hear it from me, yes, even when you're a cleaning lady you can get lost in your own mess.  Even cleaning ladies can make messes like you've never seen!  I must say, it is a rare occasion!

It is my observation that a mess starts in a very subtle fashion.  The seedlings of fantastic disaster lay dormant in the dirty dishes from lunch that you don't have time to clean, the blouse that you just spilled part of your lunch on, the thing that your cat knocked off the mantle to the shadowy depths of the back side of your entertainment console, the email that you didn't finish and subsequently forgot in the draft box thereafter, and the meeting that you cancelled because you were starting to feel sick.  At particularly critical times in the year, all of these little seeds sew right into the fertile grounds of the mystic makings of a perfect storm of mess!

Needless to say, I've been through it!  One of the most blessed effects of being a cleaning lady is helping others weather the storm, but what happens when the storm is hitting the cleaning lady?  Thus you shall see the enormous possibility for mess making at its finest!  A tribute to my tragic stress maker -the mess, and the ways that I combat it:

1.   dirty dishes - do the big ones first so that there is less in the sink (visually it'll make you fee like there are less to do, even if you have more tiny pieces than big ones)

2.   taxes - sit down every night and tackle one folder of receipts OR work in one hour increments.  I also seek advice from the internet, other business owners, and referrals for accountants.

3.   moving - pack 5 boxes a day (you can do it, it's easier than it sounds!)

4.   broken cv boot on car- no money? no time?  list options available to you, ask around to see if any one has any other ideas, you may be surprised what you can come up with!

5.   getting sick - stop it in the beginning!  Some home remedies are to gargle with baking soda water, eat a raw clove of garlic a day, and pick up some vitamins - rest is the best though!  Go get meds from the doctor immediately and pay careful attention to your body's signals/communication!

6.   clients getting sick - be flexible!  Look over the schedule and try to increase your flexibility by determining the relevance of scheduled daily activities.  Also gain the cooperation of other clients in your efforts to be allow for rescheduling

7.   dog getting sick - assess the situation, if immediate care is unnecessary, then save time and money by talking to other pet owners, do some online research, and try a few different remedies

8.   loosing things - The most important 3 things for which a special place should be made are your keys, your wallet, and your phone.  Find a place for each -which may be a place all together like by your bed!  When you put them in that place for the first time, say to yourself "I am putting these here so that I won't forget where they are"....if you say that everytime, your brain will create a catalog of corresponding space and object.  You will find yourself putting them there by habit in no time!

9.   dirty laundry - Assuming you are low on time or funds, my advice is to grab a big bowl, throw in a couple pairs of socks, undies, and necessary pants or shirt.  Fill it with water in the tub.  Add some detergent and agitate with your hands.  When you are done, ring out the clothes and hang over the shower rod to dry.  They are usually ready by morning!

10.   vacuum breaking - Not many people realize that vacuum repair shops still exist!  Try getting a quote on work from one.  You'd be surprised how little it can cost!  Also if you loose parts many online stores offer parts individually or as a set.  You could also try asking friends.

11.   out of cleaning products - If you use commercial cleaners, there are many alternatives!  You probably have everything you need to create a new cleaner right in your pantry!  Look online for a new recipe!  I'm working on posting my favorites soon!

12.   training new employees - Go ahead and write  a list of the most important lessons.  Create small workable scenarios for the employees to experience, then stick to the list.  Extras can be taught once they understand the root/most important lessons.

13.   the cold shoulder from friends less busy - I would say be aware and talk frankly to anyone that may feel neglected.  Make a plan of action with this/these person/s like texting "how are you" and funny jokes or meeting them once a week for lunch.  Whatever it is that you decide on, and make sure it is something you can actually do, stick to it and the person will have less anxiety and frustration with the fact that they miss YOU!

14.   roommate can't pay rent - Talk to the roommate and be open!  Get as many facts as possible and write them down, especially if it happens to be a complex situation!  Determine what the worst case scenario is and become ok with it on some level.  Then problem solve an action plan from there including people to talk to, surmising flexibility financially and in the scheduling, possible ways to make extra money, and an end goal that you and the roommate both agree on.

15.   internet connect broken - the library has free internet!  Also there are tons of little coffee shops, grocery stores, laundry mats, etc. that might be able to help.  If you don't have a laptop, there are computers available at both the library and your local college.  At the college you will probably have to pose as a visitor, with a badge, etc. but the effort might be worthwhile!

16.   computer broken - Call some one who has a laptop to assist you.  Look up possible problems on the internet.  If it looks like you can do the work yourself, attempt it.  If not, take it to any one of the local best buys for the "geek squad" or look up a local, self employed tech!  I like the self employed techs because they are usually dependable, reasonable in price, and on call.  It's also nice to directly support someone's income!

17.   phone broken - phones are way to expensive!  Talk to friends and see if someone has an old one you could borrow or buy.  Look on craigslist too -there are some great deals!  After no luck with either of those, check to see if your phone company has any online deals...and at very last buy one from the store.  if you have to buy from the store, call a couple stores first and price the phone that you want.  Many companies allow their franchised locations to run different deals and prices based on the economy of the area - meaning you can find some great deals if you are willing to do a little research!


Brett W. Thompson said...

Excellent tips!!! You totally amaze me.

I would avoid the Geek Squad if at all possible though, there are some horror stories I've heard. You're right- much better to find an independent, they'll probably treat you better too.

Cheryl Terrell said...

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