let the chips fall where they may

Or in the case of my apartment cleaning, let the furniture end up where it may.

Unless you have a high level of confidence in a person or company and have the income means, or are willing to hire someone “under the table,” you probably don’t have your apartment or home professionally cleaned on a regular basis.  Most people in the US middle income bracket self-clean their homes.  It’s one of those chores, like teeth flossing, that we sometimes skip, but we know should be done routinely.  Letting dust mites accumulate is just not healthy.

One of the advantages of living in certain other economies is the affordability of cleaning help.  In a few of the countries I’ve lived, the apartments or homes had living quarters for domestic help.  My small two-bedroom apartment in Peru came with a maid’s quarters, with someone who would live there full-time to clean and cook.  I declined the service, the room(s) stayed empty and I elected instead to hire the person once a week for a few hours of cleaning only.

When GV grew up in Peru, the maids became part of the family.  A friend I knew moved from the US to Peru because of the “help” advantages.  In the US, his family could not afford help.  In Peru, he had a maid, a cook, and a gardener.

In Dubai, our maid’s quarters was an entire separate structure from the home.  That too, remained empty.  We had someone in once a week under GV’s watchful eye as we heard stories there about people literally getting cleaned out.

The maid I employed in Colombia for years spoiled me with her attention to detail and trustworthiness.  For the equivalent of seven dollars, the ‘always spotless’ apartment was a treat and a relief.

Now that I’m in China, having the apartment (sans maid’s quarters) professionally cleaned is not something I have time or energy for.  The time spent dusting and cleaning would be better spent on other things (blog post writing?).  Therefore, because of the affordability factor, I’ve hired someone to clean weekly (double Colombia’s rate).  The person came recommended and I’m assured there are no issues with anyone “nicking” things.

We don’t understand a word each other says, but she seems to know what she is doing, sort of.  The good thing is that she moves items so that she can clean underneath them.  The curious thing is that she doesn’t move those items back afterwards.  She will pull out the chairs from the dining table, clean underneath, then the chairs stay out in their new position, kind of helter skelter.  I’ve got a five piece sectional sofa in the living room, she moves each piece to clean under and the sectional ends up in a different section of the room.  Items that adorn a shelf are moved to a different place after each cleaning.  The bedside tables become wall-side tables.  Kitchen countertop appliances are assigned new locations.

I don’t think she is redecorating for spite, so I sure don’t understand the logic except that there is a lot of ‘farmer’ mentality fresh from the farms.  She may go home and tell her family how this weird foreigner keeps his home too organized and has far more living space then a person should have.  If so, she may have a point, but it’s not my point.

It’s a small price to pay, putting furniture back in its place.  And the truth is, I kind of like the sofa sectional in it’s new location.

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