To clean or have cleaned, that is the question


A few Friday nights ago Bert and I headed up to the big smoke for dinner with some of his old friends at the gay Godfather’s fancy pants apartment in Potts Point. Their cushioning is superior, the perfect soaps in the bathroom, candles lit, the colour scheme of blue and white so matchy matchy throughout that my Mother would have been in heaven. Everything was in it’s place, just so, and of course I sighed with pure pleasure at the order (and of course the French champagne that was flowing and the smells of the roast that someone else was cooking). I asked about their cleaning, because I am crackers and I do love a house that has been deep cleansed when I see it. Alex told me the story of his Korean cleaners who he has managed to get one day when he caught a lift with them. He desperately asked if a) they were cleaners (I would have thought the backpack vacuum would have given that away) and b) if they were available. They eyed him up and down and started to ask him some questions – they were interviewing him! They MUST be good. And after a trial period and interview…he got them! And good they were. He told me of their method…a TEAM of them swept in and cleaned that apartment like their lives depended on it. A good thorough DEEP cleanse as I am wont to do – these guys even MOVED HIS WASHING MACHINE  TO CLEAN BEHIND IT. Yuh HUH. THAT good. Now he is desperate for them to stay on board…never rocking the boat and keeping them happy. A clean before the cleaner if you will, a little gift left behind here and there and his latest move? A cheeky text to see how they are. How you doing? And the like. HILARIOUS.


Now, you know I run a tight ship here. My standards are high and NO ONE can clean my house, like I can clean my house. That said, if I am ever making money from work, then the FIRST thing I will do with my pay is put money aside for a cleaner. I mean, life is too short for cleaning – no matter how passionate I am about it, it still sucks (pardon the pun). I’ve had a few cleaners over the years, they come and go and in between I clean the house because I have to (and more often than not A LOT) because of all our visitors, but bathrooms and I do NOT mix, at all, so I have a cleaner that comes once a fortnight to do stuff I hate to do – like clean the shower screens. Tell me a better thing then the 14 seconds between coming home into the house after the cleaner has been and the  kids entering the house. Those 14 seconds truly are the best and worth EVERY cent. I have a new cleaner who swept through yesterday with some nice touches: folded toilet roll, wiping down the front of all of my kitchen cupboards and a general fabulous deep cleanse. I almost wept from joy when I got home after over 4 hours in the car yesterday to clean bathrooms. If I could grant a wish in this world, it just might be that every person had their own cleaner, giving them 14 seconds of joy a fortnight.

Do you have a cleaner?
Are they good?
Send them text messages telling them so?


  1. Kellie Collett says

    I don’t think I could have a cleaner Beth…VERY TIGHT SHIP here too…..I do not believe there is anyone that could clean my home in a way I would be satisfied…I’m a move the fridge every week kind of gal….every nook and granny gets a going over…I want a cleaner but just don’t think it would ever work out…..I hear you x

  2. I would die Beth, DIE for a cleaner!!

    We just never ever seem to get on top of the house & it would make me weep with joy to have someone else (or even better, a TEAM!) come and clean for us..

    Maybe some day.


  3. I used to have a cleaner, back in the day, when I was working full-time. OH – they were GOOD. I loved cleaner days! Anyone could clean a house better than I do! But alas, the budget does not stretch to it nowadays, and so, I wander about the house muttering that our current cleaner is bloody useless…

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Ha! Oh Ingi…it’s the hardest thing to let go of when you can’t keep it up. Who wants to clean toilets? EVER? No one. Surely…

  4. Alex Wernbacher says

    I lurrrrve my cleaner. Actually I love her so much I want her to be my friend, not clean my loos, which is a bit of a problem. I took her out to lunch yesterday for her birthday (and as a thank you).

  5. What you have described above (team of cleaners and deep cleansing and such) sets my heart a-flutter, seriously!! I am currently applying for fulltime jobs next year (teaching) and the FIRST thing I will do is employ a cleaner…I think I want that cleaner almost as much as I want a classroom of my own hahaha! Back when I was a uni student I cleaned house for a family friend. She was (and is) so lovely, she used to make me stop at 10am for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a good chat about life and such 🙂

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I reckon I would have been a good cleaner! Good luck with your cleaner….you should see Mrs Woog’s team that come in…I’ve never seen the likes of it before – there were about 7 of them and they had in done in 30 mins flat.

      • A team of 7?!?! Holy heck! I want that cleaning team lol! Your post has made me wistful and am now googling cleaning services in my local area lol!

  6. MotherDownUnder says

    Sob! I miss my cleaners! I had a husband and wife team…from Indonesia, both studying in Brisbane. They were kind and were wonderful cleaners. They went back to Indonesia after they had finished studying…which was about the same time that I went on maternity leave. I actually don’t really know why we needed a cleaner before when it was just Daddy R and I? Surely we weren’t that messy? Now of course we need a cleaner more than ever but can’t afford one!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I remember when I went on maternity leave it was the first thing to go…because you have SO much spare time when you have a baby right? x

  7. Our cleaner just left – bless her!! I so love Wednesdays and the clean house thing!

  8. Prue Gilfillan says

    I have a couple of young male international students who I found through an agency. They’re adorable! They send me texts like this: “You need for cleaning tomorrow? (^.^)/ ” and they love my cat and try to pat him. They are not the best at cleaning though. And I’m worried that they might be working as slave labour. So if anyone knows a good cleaner in Perth… tell me!!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I’ve had a few friends who have cleaners that are no good…and you end up cleaning after they have been…but it’s too tricky a convo to have. Talk about first world problems…I know…

    • Chelsea De Luca says

      Hi Prue- I do know a great cleaner in Perth, not sure where you live (she cleans in certain areas). Let me know if you would like more information.

      • Prue Gilfillan says

        Hi Chelsea, Thanks for replying! I’m NOR. Can you email me at prudenceclaire (at) live com au so we can discuss? Thanks!

  9. Whitney Sigler says

    No cleaner here but me. I’m slacking, really bad.

  10. Kelly Exeter says

    Oh god I love that half a day I get between the cleaners doing their stuff and my 4yo getting home from daycare. I loathe cleaning so basically anyone can clean my house better than me. And as you say, life is WAY too short for cleaning so because I work … the cleaner is the very first thing I can justify!

  11. The idea of getting a cleaner is really foreign to me. I come from the kind of background where you just would never get a cleaner, and it’s hard to shake your mindset from your upbringing. That being said, the idea of people coming in to do do a really good thorough clean, and doing all those extra chores that I never get to (microwave, windows,oven etc) sounds like absolute heaven!!!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Yes! I need someone to do my oven and windows. They SUCK and hence get done once a year if I am lucky…

  12. Lisa Penberthy says

    When my mother and stepfather lived on Borneo for work they had a full time, live in maid/cleaner. I loved visiting! By the time you got out of bed and went and had breakfast, she had made the bed, cleaned the ensuite and was waiting for you to take off your pj’s so she could wash them. The house was spotless, always, and she cooked too. So that is my very high and lofty ambition – to have one of those but living here not o/s.

  13. The saddest thing about moving house was cancelling my cleaner, which I had for my 3 bedroom house (living solo) when I lived an hour from town. Last weekend I moved back to the city and I’m already *trying* to justify a way hire another one. Considering I now live in an apartment in the city and it’s small enough to clean myself I fear I’m wasting good gin money for the sake of laziness.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Oh yes, quite the problem. Give it a crack and see how you go and then get yourself a fancy pants bottle of gin. Priorities!

  14. Chelsea De Luca says

    I swear we are twins separated at birth! I LURVE cleaning, but also have a cleaner as I want it all done at the same time. Otherwise, I clean the bathroom, move to the other bathroom and find child 2 has tp-ered the first bathroom in the meantime. And guaranteed, GUARANTEED, if floors are mopped, something sticky, gluey or stainy will be dropped by child 1,2 or 3!

  15. Funny you should post this today.

    Yesterday I had a young couple start cleaning my house. Wait, I think they are cousins actually.

    They were a dream team for sure. The splashback has never been cleaner. The stove top is sparkling. All the windows and glass doors are free of finger marks and smeared food.

    I have them coming every fortnight but might as them to start weekly.

    And the guy’s ringtone was Hey Soul Sister which I have been singing ever since he left yesterday, GAH!

    Next on my list, is an ironing lady. I loathe ironing!!!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Awesome. They cleaned your splashback! Now THAT is good. And I love that song, thankfully…because it’s now in MY head.

  16. I had a WONDERFUL cleaner. I had to let her go because we is po’. I almost cried. I also had some not so fab cleaners for a while, they sort of finally stopped returning my text messages. Maybe my house was too dirty for them? I miss having a cleaner. I cannot keep on top of my house AT ALL.

  17. I am desperately seeking a new cleaner as mine is unwell. I live in Newcastle if anyone can recommend someone I’d be thrilled. I think I would rather give up eating than give up having a cleaner come in once a fortnight!

  18. I need a cleaner. so. bad. We had one in canada, and being the teeange slob that I was (has much changed, ahem…no…) I would usually say “dont worry about my room….” until they finally would get the shits, would swoop in, pick up everything off the floor, dump it on my bed and get to it. Nice clean room.

    Oh how I wish I could have one now. I LOATHE cleaning. I am very good at ignoring it, then I have a mad frenzy and do it, but 5 minutes later its back to its feral state. I wish I was like you….

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Like me WHO HAS A CLEANER. I’m lucky Deb…I get lazy too when I am without a cleaner – the bathroom in particular just gets looked over. HATE IT.

  19. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I would love a cleaner but it is not to be so I will keep on cleaning my house and I do get satisfaction from a very clean house till everyone walks in the door!

  20. Jane Morgan says

    I would rather go without food than not have my cleaner. She is fabulous! Annie- if you’re reading this I love you so much!!
    Recently she has had to take on caring for her 2 year old grandson so she’s hired a “replacement” cleaner for a few months until she settles him in. She’s calling me each fortnight to check what I think and while no one can clean a shower screen or a floor like Annie I tell her that most things are ok just so I keep my spot with her when she’s ready to come back- she’s in huge demand in Wollongong’s northern suburbs and I do go out of my way to keep her happy. I even bought a Dyson as she mentioned that my $89 hoover from Godfrey’s sucked (or didn’t suck?) and she found it difficult to get my floors to her standard.
    Best $50 a fortnight I reckon

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      You bet! I hope Annie is reading…Hi Annie! You rock! AND…how DO they get the shower screens so clean? HOW?! Ask Annie would you? And report back x

      • Jane Morgan says

        Huge mystery to me too! Spotless I tell you! And no footprints on the shower floor or water drops either. It’s like she hovers in the shower recess with a bloody Karcher hose thingy and heat blasts it til it shines.And she leaves my 11 year old daughter notes telling her that her room is a disgrace and she’s not wasting my money to pick up after her. She’s like a cleaning Goddess!

  21. As we’ve discussed, living in Dubai I could have a full-time live-in maid, alas I don’t. Before I went back to Oz I had a wonderful lady who spent 4 hours a week cleaning my house and changing linen. She went back to the Philipines and I haven’t been able to trust anyone else yet. So, I’m cleaning again. I’m probably the only person in Dubai who cleans their own house.

  22. Oh why oh why did you have to post this? I am a neat freak and am constantly cleaning but I too hate the bathrooms etc so am desperate to get a cleaner for a deep clean bathroom and kitchen. I have had them in the past and they always start off good then turn to crap and I get so resentful if they are not as good as me and then I PAY them!!

    Mrs W might be getting a call though.. I am thinking it could be a worthwhile investment for my sanity..

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Tessa you need a good contact – you can’t be dealing with that shit PLUS work. I get the resentful bad cleaner…that has happened to almost every one I know. Deep cleanse will deep cleanse your mind x

      • I am on it.. Marcus walked through the door and I said I think I want a cleaner, he didn’t flinch and said yep sure thing.. clearly he knows I need that cleanse!

  23. We had a cleaner for a while when we lived in the city. My kids were a bit confused the first time because when they came home all the shoes were neatly lined up in the bottom of the wardrobe, and they had never seen it like that before! I dream of a cleaner these days, but there is no chance of getting one around here!

  24. Danielle Craig says

    This is Hilarious!! Only because I am one of those cleaners! Cleaning 20+ shower screens ( and houses)each week you get pretty good pretty quickly, and pick up tonnes of little tricks along the way! Having said that, it is lovely when a client actually takes the time to thank you & let you know how much they love what you do.

  25. scissorspaperrock says

    I totally get you with the ‘no one can clean my house, like I can clean my house’. I recently ‘put off’ our weekly cleaner. Stupidest thing I ever did. Yes, I was still cleaning before and after her visits {that’s just how I roll} but it was nice not having to scrub the 4 toilets in this house or the 3 showers. We move house in 2 weeks, and next year I am returning to almost fulltime work. We WILL have a cleaner again. Best people ever!!!

    Claire x

  26. fauxfuschia says

    I have a cleaner. The day she comes is very happy for me. I sometimes clean with her.

    I do not do mess dirt or squalor (so unsettling) so I spend a fair chunk of time cleaning when I get home front the Coalface. I feel the family functions better when the place looks good.

    I find it soothing.

  27. fauxfuschia says

    Another thing.

    I have the oven cleaning man coming on Monday.

    I know.

    I am beyond excited myself. It will be worth every penny.

    Malene Birger said she can’t be creative or calm in a messy space.

    I feel there’s something in that for all of us really.

  28. I don’t have a cleaner, I have a gardener. And he’s brilliant! He just comes and does what needs to be done (weeding, mowing, the best edges ever, even planting when I run out of time) and I don’t think I’ve ever paid over $50/fortnight. Highly recommended!

  29. I love the idea of a cleaner, but have yet to pull the trigger on hiring one. Not sure what the road block is, probably something to do with my lifelong ‘I’ll do it myself!’ mentality! I’m reasonably tidy, but my house isn’t going to win any housekeeping awards 😉 One day my cleaner will come…

  30. I’ve been thinking about hiring a cleaner for MONTHS. Months and Months. My husband recently went away for work for over three months, and it’s extra hard to keep up when I’m on my own and have nobody to impress. I think when I finish uni and get back to work next year, it’ll be the very first thing I use my wage for.

  31. Jay - Moodie Foodie says

    I’ve had cleaners on and off over the years – usually dependent on if I’m working or not – and I LOVE them! If I was working full time and could justify the expense, I’d be bringing in a cleaner faster than you can say, Yes Please!

  32. My cleaner just left as I write. He is not very good anymore. I think he’s going a bit blind actually, so he misses things! He’s a bit elderly and doesn’t speak much English but I like having him in the house and he gets all the basics done. I’ve tried others but it’s a big house and most cleaners just can’t manage their time sufficiently to get the job done. Even when I’ve added time they get caught out. He’s become a part of the furniture and yes, those first 14 seconds are bliss! Now I just need somebody to fold the laundry…

  33. Katrina Chambers says

    I have had cleaners on and off. Got a new one a few months ago. Sacked after the first week! I am too fussy!

  34. I cannot wait to get a cleaner! There’s nothing more annoying that waking up Saturday morning knowing I have a full day of cleaning ahead of me. Especially if I’ve been extra slack the week before and this week’s effort will eat into Wine Time…!

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