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How to make cleaning the house easier :-)

I have always had problems with cleaning my house. Usually, garbage accumulates around the chair where I sit at my computer.

No, I'm not kidding.

I have found a way to make cleaning the house a lot easier: I buy audiobooks, and while cleaning the house, I listen to an audiobook I like - usually physics or business management.

It may seem weird, but I found that this makes cleaning the house really easy.

software enthusiast
Thursday, September 25, 2003

I have a specific time every week -- Saturday afternoons -- set aside for cleaning.  That helps me a lot.

Also, I started reading up on diseases and cleanliness.  That really motivated me.

The Pedant, Brent P. Newhall
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Your post is very interesting.

The reason why cleaning the house is easier when you listen to audiobooks is that it's no longer boring as hell.

You actually do some physical work (which is good for you) and also learn something (which is also good for you).

Audiobooks are also good for the times my eyes are too fscked up to read from the screen. I mean, I can read, but after 12 hours straight, my eyes get tired - I really should get an LCD!

Now, if I only could find an audio player app which allowed me to set bookmarks and return to them later!

:-)

software enthusiast
Thursday, September 25, 2003

"Now, if I only could find an audio player app which allowed me to set bookmarks and return to them later!"

Well, my car's CD player remembers your current position, to the second. I listen to audio books on the way to and from work, and whenever else I'm driving alone; it's a lot better than flipping radio stations and I actually look forward to time in the car.

Exception guy
Thursday, September 25, 2003

on every monday while i'm in work, somebody cleans my flat/iron my shirt, etc.

it cost 1% of my salary / occasion

na
Thursday, September 25, 2003

So if they come every week, you're paying 52% of your salary a year?

Philo

Philo
Thursday, September 25, 2003

I pay 2% of my gross for this to get done for me. I resisted for years and thought of it as lavish. However, the 2-hours a week it was taking me was detracting from my personal down time.

The house is immaculate and I can spend my saturday mornings sipping coffee and reading/writing code thats off task for my business like mastering Ruby for the fun of it.

You might even be able to deduct part of it if you spend a significant amount of time working from home.

Michael Johnson
Thursday, September 25, 2003

I live like a pig. It's easier and cheaper. :)

Piggy
Thursday, September 25, 2003

> So if they come every week, you're paying 52% of your salary a year?

HA HA HA... weekly salary.

I listen to books on tape when I go bike riding. Sometimes I don't feel like going, and to motivate myself I start listening to my book on tape. It just gets me going. Or when I'm listening to more music than books on tape, then music... Whatever it is, listening to it on my walkman works.

I guess it's some sort of Pavlovian association.

Books on TAPE have a built in "bookmark." Books on CD you have to remember the minute/second combination... Books on MP3, I guess the same. Will an iPod remember your spot?

Mark T A W .com
Thursday, September 25, 2003

I'm also an audiobook junkie, but these days everything I get is through audible.com; I no longer buy tapes or CDs.

First off, its desktop player software has built-in bookmark functionality. It's basic, but enough. But best of all,  I can now transfer the audiobooks to my Ipod. No more ripping tapes and CDs!

Simon
Friday, September 26, 2003

If you have a Palm OS 5 device, Pocket Tunes 2.0.4, from http://www.pocket-tunes.com, plays MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and uncompressed WAV files, and supports audio bookmarks.  I use it quite a bit, and the author is very responsive.

Ben Combee
Friday, September 26, 2003

"So if they come every week, you're paying 52% of your salary a year?"

ye,ye, it's good that we have only 52 weeks and not 104, otherwise I would have no money :)

na
Friday, September 26, 2003

Yes, you can bookmark your iPod Audiobooks.  From http://www.apple.com/ipod/audible.html
"You’ll never lose your place

iPod lets you easily navigate through spoken content, and when you sync Audible back and forth between your computer and iPod, each will keep track of where you last left off listening — just like a virtual bookmark."

I'm currently listening to a book on my iPod, but when I go home I want to use my computer speakers (so I can hear other things too).  Conveniently it will sync that bookmark when you hook the iPod back to the computer.  Pretty handy.

I've found that listening to a  book while working reduces my obvious downtime.  It may slow me down just a bit, but I find that I don't seek out information elsewhere nearly as much (ahem, /.).

Lou
Friday, September 26, 2003

Molly Maids, once every two weeks....excellent service

apw
Friday, September 26, 2003

I have a girlfriend. I find she does the job admirably.

Mr Jack
Friday, September 26, 2003

If your nett hourly rate is higher than a cleaner's gross hourly rate then it just doesn't make sense to clean your own house.  The downside is one stole my mobile phone - at least I backed up the memory. New cleaners; bliss has returned.

John Ridout
Friday, September 26, 2003

Most maid services charge you about $25  an hour and pay the maids $6.

You do both yourself, and the maids a favour, if you hired direct. Not recommended if you want to stand for Office in DC, but the best solution otherwise.

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 26, 2003

>>Most maid services charge you about $25  an hour and pay the maids $6.

However, most maid services take care of insurance and bonding, which most $6/hr maids won't have.  Real important when that phone gets stolen or your TV gets broken by the cleaning lady.

besides, to hire that $6/hr maid, at least here in NJ-USA, you need to speak Spanish.

GML
Friday, September 26, 2003

Sure the middleman has costs, but you're talking a huge profit here.

And if you're hiring direct you can afford to pay the maid more so you can be choosy.

I personally reckon that maid's agencies work because people have hangups about employing servants, but these hangups magically disappear when a third party agrees to charge you a fee to take the exploitation off your conscience.

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 26, 2003

"If your nett hourly rate is higher than a cleaner's gross hourly rate then it just doesn't make sense to clean your own house."

This assumes that you can always bill more hours at that rate.  Otherwise, if you can only bill, say, 40 hours, that 5 hours you spend cleaning is probably taken out of your TV watching time, not income generating activity.

If you're salaried, of course, it only makes sense if putting in extra hours can earn you a bonus or comission that exceeds the cost of the maid's services (is maid the correct term?).

Jim Rankin
Friday, September 26, 2003


eg 1 need to surf 1.5 hours to pay 6 hours of maid work. and I dont't have tv, so she has no options :)

na
Friday, September 26, 2003

My wife works for "Molly Maid" on the weekends when she wants extra cash. The numbers given in this thread are wrong.

Here they charge the customer C$ 15 per hour. The worker gets C$ 8 in cash, no tax, no deductions, not reported to the government.

Further, they drop-off and pick up the worker. My wife drives our car so they pay her C$ 10 per hour instead. When they assign two workers to a job she transport the other worker then she gets C$ 12.

Anonymous Coward
Friday, September 26, 2003

"I personally reckon that maid's agencies work because people have hangups about employing servants, but these hangups magically disappear when a third party agrees to charge you a fee to take the exploitation off your conscience."

Wow Stephen, this has a perfect parallel in software outsourcing. Companies do criminal background checks, require dozens of references, insist on original sealed copies of transcripts, and take urine and blood samples from the local developers they hire. Then one day, they lay them all off and hire developers who live thousands of miles aware, even the names of whom are a complete mystery.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, September 26, 2003

Oh yeah, those maid services. I read about some of them in Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Nickel and Dimed" where she - a fairly successful writer for New York Magazine - as an experiment headed to some fairly random location with just a few hundred dollars in her pocket to get her started, and tried to earn a living with sort of bottom of the barrel jobs like maid, housekeeping at a hotel, wal-mart, etc.

She said that they carefully regimented how they cleaned your house, to the point where the amount of water/solution to clean your kitchen floor was regulated to half a bucket... The more fluid you used, the more it cost the company.

She was actually just swishing around dirty water, and people have complained that soon after a cleaning, they spill something on the floor, and when they clean it up, their paper towels are dirty. She has similar stories for the kitchen counters.

You might think it's just a few ounces of fluid, but on the national level, it's hundreds of gallons.

She didn't work for The Merry Maids, but a similar national outfit.

I've seen TV News Expose's or something like this about people stealing stuff like account numbers from loose paperwork lying around the house, so if you're like me and leave bank statements out until you've filed them... clean this stuff up and close it away before anyone shows up at your house.

That "your hourly wage" thing is good if you actually planned on using that hour working, but if you have spare hours in the week, then it doesn't really pay.

Mark T A W .com
Saturday, September 27, 2003

About these maid services, what do they actually do?  I remember when i was a kid we had a maid for awhile, and it was always MORE work: "we have to pick up, do the dishes, and fold the laundry - the maid is coming."  When I was a kid, this was like "huh?"

I don't need someone to dust for me - that takes 5 seconds and frankly I don't care if things are a touch dusty.

Now if someone would launder my clothes, fold them and put them away, collect the glass I left in the bedroom and the three by the computer, finish loading the dishwasher, run it, put away the dishes, now THAT I would pay good money for.

Are there any maid services that actually do this kind of stuff?

Robert
Saturday, September 27, 2003

I don't know, but I know someone who has a maid - not through an agency, a referral I think - who charges around $7 an hour, and works for a solid 10 hours. She doesn't speak english, but they point her at something and say "clean" and she does.... From what I hear these people still do their own laundry, but to not have to sweep then mop my floors, clean the bathroom, etc. I'd be willing to pay.

Mark T A W .com
Saturday, September 27, 2003

--" Now if someone would launder my clothes, fold them and put them away, collect the glass I left in the bedroom and the three by the computer, finish loading the dishwasher, run it, put away the dishes, now THAT I would pay good money for.

Are there any maid services that actually do this kind of stuff?" ---

Every Sri Lankan or Indian houseboy I have ever had, both in Saudi and Lanka,  has done that with no problem.

Unfortunately, you can't outsource domestic service.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

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