D is for Dusting and Domestic Work and those other things we Don’t get to do…

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… when we’re running our own businesses. Look in South Africa we as business owners we are very spoiled. If business is doing well, we employ domestic workers (traditionally known as maids). Some people in other countries tell us this is a class thing, a way of keeping people down, etc, etc. Well, there are laws around it, and domestic work is a big form of employment of people who may not be employable in other ways. The unemployment situation here is dire, and by hiring domestic workers we are helping the situation. Anyway the fact of the matter is that many of us do have domestic workers and so for 11 months out of 12 we are sorted. The problem comes in in December when most domestic workers go back to the homelands, or on days where they may be sick or affected by problems out of their control such as strikes.

When I’m busy, I’m working 12 – 18 hour days, and house cleaning is the last thing I feel like doing. It’s the last thing I feel like doing at any given day or time, but it has to be done. Nobody likes living in dirt. Come December time, and you’re still busy at work, and the housework piles up and up, things can get interesting. Suddenly in addition to the 12 million things you’ve got to do, you’ve got to sweep, vacuum, dust, do dishes, clean bathrooms and kitchens. Now I’ve never tried the excuse, but I can’t see my clients liking it if I say “I’m running late, the dishes are piled to the ceiling.”

A friend of mine has hit on the best solution. She simply divvies up the chores between herself, her husband and her children, and everyone takes their turn. Sometimes I can get this right, and sometimes, my children are less cooperative than this.

As with everything though, the best way is to work out a schedule, which is what we’ve done. Sweeping and dusting on Mondays and Wednesdays, bathroom and toilet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, etc, etc. And if a client is coming, a quick frenzied blitz around the entire house. I’d appreciate comments on this and also to know how other countries manage.

Do you make use of cleaning services, or have a well ordered schedule for all year round?  Do things get chaotic at times? Here there are even employment agencies who specialise in domestic workers, so the laws and regulations around them are pretty strict though sadly they do at times get taken advantage of (not sure that’s limited to the domestic work industry though). I knew someone who ran a cleaning service for a while in this country and though the idea was great, it didn’t really work because of the fact that people simply  hire domestic workers directly. I’d be very keen to find out how it works in other countries, and maybe some of you may even get inspired reading this to start your own domestic cleaning services or something along those lines.