Fun fact, I was wearing masks and gloves pre-covid! Why? Because I have been a maid for many years. I get dirty so others can be clean is the oversimplified description of who I am and maids in general. Excuse the outdated title but it was a proud one I’d shout from the rooftops. I cleaned many a home across the nation, all over the world. I’ve learned techniques from so many cleaning goddesses over the years, I wish I had time to name them all. My mother kept up her own home with no hired help and always thanked me for being an “easy” kid who did everyone’s chores without being asked. The cleaning queen (Gramma) didn’t teach me much about specifics (much more though in many ways) because she herself is high up on the scale of “ocd” as well of course, hereditarily but also all knowingly, instilled the adage “if you want it done right you’ll have to do it yourself”. Gramma shoo’d off all the half hearted offers to help “clean up” as if it were as simple as stick the dishes in the machine and push the button. Unfortunately, even my full hearted offers got lost in the mix most times. When she did allow a jr apprentice step up to the plate on a more space squishing/mess making occasion, there were things we disagreed on. Our ‘ocd’ auras seemed to clash when my categorizing brain instinctively matched the forks with forks and spoons with each other. They fit like puzzle pieces, how could they go another way? Gramma: “well then they won’t get cleaned if they’re stuck together” followed by a “let me show you” that I knew was really a “just let me do it” *shoo shoo*.
Anyhow, masks & gloves, yes, a necessity in my line of passion, to protect from harsh chemicals that will poke at your alveoli and delicately burn your skin like tiny stinging bugs.
My first and only year at the professional company that trained me was but a desperate job for cash I had a feeling I’d be good at. What I didn’t know is how much I’d enjoy myself. After three years of testing the waters with something I was also passionate about however intensely emotionally draining; it was a bit of fresh (dare I say fun) breath of air. At the time, I would’ve called it a failure, transitioning from a well paid community college major-related job I was also passionate about but not emotionally or physically equipped to handle (bless essential workers). I know now not a failure, but a transition that would pave my path. I knew it would be easy as I had taught myself at a young age how to keep clean & contain my own personal aura so why not help others with theirs. A maid I was for a year, under management and ownership, clashing personal techniques with the strict guidelines enforced. I found it brought me a sense of discipline & control. Before it was just soothing when I’d step up on my stool as a little Bon and switch on the radio attached to the cabinet and get to be alone in the zone washing dishes, warming my hands for the first time all day. Or as a teen, it was satisfying being a model employee at the local fast food chain because I had a strong urge for efficiency and couldn’t help but to fill any free moment with cleaning and reorganizing.
I found gratifying peace cleaning alone in another’s home. Like I wouldn’t trust anyone else but me to do the job (Gramma instilled). However one year was all I needed to realize I was more than a company worker and could do more on my own with my acquired knowledge combined with personal techniques. I most certainly would rather clean for acquaintances in need and by word of mouth, I kept up a full schedule for many years. I didn’t think myself to be a business owner until later on. I only hired friends to help me out when I was away.
One of these times was for a seasonal opportunity to experience an extended stay on a tropical island. At a Relais and Châteaux resort Housekeeping, the $12 pay cut was well worth the incredible experience of absolute paradise. Despite the language barrier, the resort slash French fine dining restaurant taught me a wealth more than I had previously known of cleaning. The wisdom of the ladies who lived next door to me and the resort who also happened to work there was another very important step on my path that further fueled the passion. I learned that common sense isn’t a fair term. No one sense is common to all. Nothing is known until it is taught and/or learned. Evidence was a soaked little Bon who had never cleaned a shower so open with spouts at every height going in every direction. And without words, they taught me the dance that I have since kept dry with.
Life story short, I’ve got cleaning stories for days. This is but a gist of the experience and expertise under my belt. Sorry for no tips and tricks this time; you’ll have to follow the instagram for that!