My Dirty Little Secret

comments: 70

Hallway1If, as you sit drinking your morning coffee, reading this little blog, thinking not for the first time, "This Posie girl seriously bugs me. Why on earth am I wasting my time reading this thing," today is the day I would have to say, "I so hear you," "I know, me too," and, "I'm sorry." Because when I tell you what I have to tell you, you'll probably never come here again.

I have a cleaning lady.

I do. I've had her for three years, since I opened my store. I love her so much I can't even say exactly how much because it would get weird. Weird-er. She comes for two hours once every three weeks and cleans the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the floors, and she dusts and vacuums. There. I said it. Please don't hate me.

I will say, also, in no uncertain terms, that it has completely changed my life, having her. Andy and I have lived together for ten years, and we always fought about housework. Always. It was pretty much the only thing we ever fought about. Ever. I wanted things a certain way but I couldn't physically do it because of my stupid foot. He was already tired of cleaning up after people for twelve hours a day. Now we have the time and energy for doing more fun stuff in the limited amount of time we have together every week and it is wonderful. I have become totally okay with it all now that I've seen how many steps I save -- since I start each day with a certain number of steps with which to work, run errands, have fun, just live, etc., I ration them carefully. But even though I'm making this excuse, I'm also undeniably just a lazy housekeeper. A dillettante housekeeper.

Hallway3_1 That's why what I did the other day makes me feel really bad. Andy had painted this back hallway, off the kitchen, last weekend, and I did manage to find Dash & Albert rugs here in Portland, at Rejuvenation. So I got one of those beauties (see it, a little bit?), and then I was so excited I just kept going. I got a shelf  with pegs for my aprons, and a vaguely impractical broom, and a bunch of cleaning supplies that I thought looked really cute (from the Dollar Store -- love that place, and loved looking at the packaging of this stuff, all named for happy things: Sun, Joy, Fabulous!) but I will never use these. They sit here with colored sponges and old-fashioned clothes pins and bottle brushes as if somebody actually cleaned bottles or hung out clothes. (I do have other cleaning supplies, though, the ugly real ones, under the kitchen sink.)

Hallway2_1I just had to, had to confess. I know I totally suck but at least I'm not as bad as Rachel Ashwell, who has her housekeeper change her bathmats TWICE A DAY. I change my bathmats about once every two weeks. So that's not so bad, that's pretty disgusting. And my bed is covered in dog hair, so that's gross. And my studio is a NIGHTMARE that hasn't really been cleaned in about two years. My bathtub caulking is now black in places. The fronts of my kitchen drawers are so old and splintery they're about to fall off. My fireplace is still filled with charred-up wood from last winter. My window is completely smeared with dog-noseprints. My sofa is muddy with pawprints. My carpet looks like a roughed-up Muppet wig.

I can go further with this if necessary, but I won't, I know you have better things to do.

I just really hope one of them isn't cleaning.


I've been a lurker here. But now, emboldened by your "confession", I am stepping out of the shadows.
You have made me feel so much better...

I cannot even dream why you would think that is a dirty little secret... OMG.... I just have not had the time to sit down and look for one.. I need one desparately.. It is only me and my 4 1/2 year old daughter, but let me tell you between the two of us we can make a big mess of the place.. and quite frankly between work, crafty stuff, and play time.. when do I have time to clean the house? It actually leaves me worn out just trying to keep up with what I do... So, I applaud you.. why not have a life and pay someone to do the stuff that takes up that time in your life! BTW.. love the rug. I have to buy one... those are the colors I am going to use to crochet a log cabin coverlet for my bed and I figure it is better to choose the colors and match it to something instead of get a bunch of yarn piled up at home I am not going to use (oh wait, I already have that to some degree..LOL)

Ah, relief. You have HELP making your world beautiful. Phew. I thought I was failing miserably at trying to upkeep my

Just kiddn'. I am housekeeperless for the first time in awhile and frankly I agree that families should use the help to avoid arguing about the tasks and spend more time enjoying one another. Good for you! And you therefore have more time to make all those lovelies....!

Oh, darling. This is no dirty little secret; this is life! Confession: I have a cleaning lady too! I worship the ground she walks on! Guess what? She comes once a WEEK! I have to. There just isn't enough time in the day for everything. It's insane to think any different.

a weight has been lifted off my ample-sized shoulders. this makes me feel so. much. better. i feel a collective sigh out in blogland... "she's cute! she has an immaculate yard! she makes beautiful things! her caulking is gross!" see? so much better.

oh. and very nice rug. congrats!

haha. I am SUPPOSED to be cleaning, but doing anything but. I do have two fully functional feet but I'm lazy. Okay I cleaned the tub and wanted to clean the trap but apparently need a TOOL to open the drain cover?!?! all my good intentions dashed.

A couple weeks ago I was talking with friends when it was revealed that at least one of them owns at least one can of Pledge and uses it regularly. To dust. Regularly. Man, I NEVER dust. My surfaces are not clear enough to dust.

So maybe someday a paid helper for me, too. I think guilt is part of the equation, sorry.

Nope, definitely have some cleaning to do. But that's okay, it's about all I do have to do. I'm not even going to tell you what it looks like inside my kitchen cabinets.

I think I would have hated you itf you cleaned with thes and have it look good. But now I just have to love you..

You are hilarious! If you can have a cleaning lady, then I guess I can talk my hubby into getting us one too!!! I love the look of your cool cleaning supplies. I love all those great looking tools and chemicals for cleaning, but, ummmmm, do I use them? Not as much as I should....

Get away with you (as we say). There is no shame in having a cleaning lady. I think she should be in for at least three hours a day. That's what I would do if I could a) find the perfect Mrs Mop b) have a separate part of the house for when she's in the other part and c)be able to stop for copious amount of tea & gossip.

I think we are too hung about who does our cleaning. If it works for you, do it.

hung up - Freudian slip...?

Your heart and soul is all that matters, and that you keep doing this blog!! :)

When we change our sheets, we do the "clean sheet day" dance. 100% dog hair free! (For about 3 minutes.)

Look at those pretty aprons! A few entries ago, when you were at your sister's and pondered who doesn't have vintage aprons laying around... Um, me. But I'm working on it!

I hate cleaning, yet there are days when I go into a cleaning frenzy.
My boyfriend & I always argue about cleaning, I think he should help more & he thinks cause I'm home much more than him I should be good little housewife type person. I don't think so, but I don't think I could have a cleaner, I'm very picky about my stuff, where it should be & how it should be treated.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the turquoise hall, I wish we had a house, so I can paint it all lovely bright colours.

Add me to the list! Mine comes every other week, and my life is so much better!

i think it's funny that you have cleaning supplies displayed because of their cuteness. ha!

you have such a pretty little home.

and the only reason i don't have a cleaning lady is that i haven't done the work to find one.

oh alicia now you just stop that, how could anybody ever hate you? i don't care who cleans your bathtub. more power to you. and don't guilt yourself about the just-for-pretty cleaning supplies. bah! eff it! quality of life! right on! meanwhile, i can't wait for graduation because once this finals week from hell is over, i can make time to scrub my bathroom from top to bottom. but that don't mean i wouldn't mind gettin me one of them there cleanin' ladies myself! shoot. xo.

going out to shop for another bathmat now...

Ah...what a fabulous confession. ;) We've been talking about finding someone for ages now--it surely seems like the best way to spend money to me-- but each time I start I get overwhelmed at the thought of finding the 'right' person. does sound heavenly though! And I adore that you have the 'display' cleaning supplies...and then a hiding spot full of the real (and ugly!) ones! Ha!

All I can say is it is the dirt little secrets like this that make blog people seem much more human! You do sometimes look at pictures and have a mental imaged of a lady wafting around in a perfumed cloud occasionally flicking a feather duster whilst adjusting her tiarra. It is just nice to know that they to have the occasional smeary window and furniture that is actually falling to pieces and not not lovingly distressed! It is the little foibles in life that make us real. :-)

Ok, the fact that you bought cute cleaning supplies at the dollar store for the what is basically the "set design" of quaint back hallway brings genuine joy to my day... so freaking funny and delightful.

Oh how I hate the old black tub caulk. The clear stuff that seals my shower doors looks like a science experiment but how do you clean that stuff?
No need to explain your cleaning lady to us. What a wonderful use of the money if it makes you happy and makes your life a little easier. She would need to come twice a week at my house though.

Chris Howard says: May 12, 2006 at 01:55 PM

I know how you feel, we just hired a landscaping/lawn care service and hubby and I feel really guilty :( Both of us were raised by "do it yourself" kinda famiies- heck my Grandmother was a maid! But we finally succumbed to the fact that
1. We are both totally clueless about lawncare, yard maintenance, landscaping and anything to do with the outdoors.
2. We like the IDEA of a pretty yard, we just don't want to deal with it.
3. Having someone do our yardwork gives us more time to spend together and is relatively reasonably priced, so why not do it?

If you're guilty so am I!

I love the little cleaning products vignette you have, but you need to pour a little of them down the drain to keep up the "illusion" ;) Also, tub grout is a huge pain in the butt- even if you're Martha Stewart that stuff mildews. Have you tried the new Clorox Bleach Gel Pen? PERFECT for grout! Just squeeze some out on the mildew, leave it on a couple of hours, and then rinse it off. At the very least, it should be whitened a good bit. If that doesn't work, you can do what my old apartment owners did and just grout right over the mildew.

Have a great weekend and don't stress about the maid! I like to think about it this, when I'm lieing on my death bed, am I really gonna be laying there thinking "gee I really wish I cleaned the house more and had sparkling white tub grout"?

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at