Author Topic: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'? ... :/ Update #19  (Read 15854 times)

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QueenofAllThings

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 11:30:25 AM »
What great friends!
 
As an aside, in terms of 'keeping up with it' once your friends are gone and the new babies come, don't be afraid to ask your other children for help. School-age kids can certainly be responsible for their own rooms/messes and help with common areas - like laundry, vacuuming, dishes, etc.

Best of health to you and the babies!

TootsNYC

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 11:23:26 AM »
Lunch, definitely. Drinks, definitely. Maybe even snacks.

A list, definitely. Enough supplies, definitely.

A thank-you note, definitely.

A stereo with a nice choice of music, definitely.

I don't think a gift is necessary, and it might be awkward. It would be for me, if I came to help with this.

And as for reciprocation--especially when it's being organized though a church family (note the word *family*--I take it seriously in regard to church), the way you reciprocate is by being a giving member of the family, even if you never give directly to them ever. If you help someone else in the congregation (drop-off babysitting, maybe, since you're home anyway?; volunteer in the nursery; always launder the kitchen towels; whatever), you are creating the community that is helping you.

You  might also consider getting one of those helpers to help instruct your children in how to run the vacuum, how to dust, etc., because sometimes kids respond better when it's not Mom or Dad.

bopper

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 11:51:33 PM »
I think you are doing the right thing...

If I had volunteered to help you, I would

1) Want to be appreciated and not taken for granted.  The lunch takes care of that.
2) Not have you go to tons of trouble and make more work for yourself to provide that lunch.  The ease of your lunch is just right.

Ceallach

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2012, 12:07:09 AM »
I think it's important to remember that these ladies won't want to see you rushing around or putting effort into hospitality.  The whole reason they're helping is to ensure you get your rest!   Ensure there is plenty to eat and drink available, and express your gratitude in words.   Also send thank you notes afterwards.   But apart from that I don't think anything further is necessary and might even counteract the generosity if that makes sense - they're doing this to save you work, and they won't feel as good about it if it causes you more work!
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Martienne

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2012, 05:54:03 PM »
My friends came by on Monday and honestly I'm still kind of processing how I feel about how it went. I guess I should have realized when you get a couple of cleanies to come help tidy up the house of a family of clutterers, they're just going to see a big pile of things that needs to go into trash bags. I don't feel like I can go into much detail here without getting upset, but I ended up going through all the trash bags and finding a lot of things that shouldn't have been going out in the trash. They slowed down and were a little better about sorting once they realized that, but I didn't know how to explicitly speak up about it. When I offered lunch the comment wasn't even acknowledged. There are things missing now that I'm sure have been thrown out and they already took the trash bags to the dump.

At this point I don't know if there's any point to saying anything. I don't think I can make them understand and even if I do it's just going to make them feel bad. Lifting and going through the trash bags ended up with my back going out again, which was supposed to be the whole point of having people over to help, so that I wouldn't overdo things and make my back go out.

Zilla

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2012, 10:08:51 PM »
My friends came by on Monday and honestly I'm still kind of processing how I feel about how it went. I guess I should have realized when you get a couple of cleanies to come help tidy up the house of a family of clutterers, they're just going to see a big pile of things that needs to go into trash bags. I don't feel like I can go into much detail here without getting upset, but I ended up going through all the trash bags and finding a lot of things that shouldn't have been going out in the trash. They slowed down and were a little better about sorting once they realized that, but I didn't know how to explicitly speak up about it. When I offered lunch the comment wasn't even acknowledged. There are things missing now that I'm sure have been thrown out and they already took the trash bags to the dump.

At this point I don't know if there's any point to saying anything. I don't think I can make them understand and even if I do it's just going to make them feel bad. Lifting and going through the trash bags ended up with my back going out again, which was supposed to be the whole point of having people over to help, so that I wouldn't overdo things and make my back go out.


Wait they just filled trashbags and threw stuff out?  I thought it was just to clean?

Ceallach

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2012, 10:42:49 PM »
My friends came by on Monday and honestly I'm still kind of processing how I feel about how it went. I guess I should have realized when you get a couple of cleanies to come help tidy up the house of a family of clutterers, they're just going to see a big pile of things that needs to go into trash bags. I don't feel like I can go into much detail here without getting upset, but I ended up going through all the trash bags and finding a lot of things that shouldn't have been going out in the trash. They slowed down and were a little better about sorting once they realized that, but I didn't know how to explicitly speak up about it. When I offered lunch the comment wasn't even acknowledged. There are things missing now that I'm sure have been thrown out and they already took the trash bags to the dump.

At this point I don't know if there's any point to saying anything. I don't think I can make them understand and even if I do it's just going to make them feel bad. Lifting and going through the trash bags ended up with my back going out again, which was supposed to be the whole point of having people over to help, so that I wouldn't overdo things and make my back go out.

Can you give us an example of what kind of thing?   I just can't imagine going into somebody's house and throwing everything into trash bags!   Are we talking about mementos and children's toys, or food in the kitchen that they for some reason thought was old, or something like that?  Or documents and paperwork?

Sorry that it went so badly, this doesn't sound good at all.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Friends coming to help clean - how much 'hosting'?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2012, 11:04:45 PM »
My friends came by on Monday and honestly I'm still kind of processing how I feel about how it went. I guess I should have realized when you get a couple of cleanies to come help tidy up the house of a family of clutterers, they're just going to see a big pile of things that needs to go into trash bags. I don't feel like I can go into much detail here without getting upset, but I ended up going through all the trash bags and finding a lot of things that shouldn't have been going out in the trash. They slowed down and were a little better about sorting once they realized that, but I didn't know how to explicitly speak up about it. When I offered lunch the comment wasn't even acknowledged. There are things missing now that I'm sure have been thrown out and they already took the trash bags to the dump.

At this point I don't know if there's any point to saying anything. I don't think I can make them understand and even if I do it's just going to make them feel bad. Lifting and going through the trash bags ended up with my back going out again, which was supposed to be the whole point of having people over to help, so that I wouldn't overdo things and make my back go out.

I'm so sorry it didn't go as planned and what was supposed to be a good thing turned out so bad. (((HUGS))).  I'm curious like, Ceallach, too, though.  What kind of things?
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Martienne

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My kids are terrible about throwing trash on the floor instead of in cans. But then they'll drop other things on the floor, like playing pieces to board games, pencils and crayons, silverware...lots of little things that are parts that make up a whole, I guess you could say. One of the reasons for this is I have a 7- and 5-year-old who like to sit on the floor to play with things and then they don't pick up.

One of the main examples that almost has me wanting to ask for compensation is that everything but the kettle from the tea brewing set my 12-year-old got for Christmas is now missing. I know the 5-year-old would sometimes play tea party with this set, sitting on the floor. This is not a toy, but a kitchen-quality set with tea infuser, tongs, silicone mat to rest the tongs on, and of course the kettle had a lid. The thing is that with my husband's periods of unemployment and our foreclosure this past Christmas was the first one we could afford to have in two years. And it was still small. Each child had a budget of $20 to buy their siblings presents and two of them went in together to pay $15 for that tea set.

An example of something I did manage to rescue from the trash is an amigurimi turtle I made for my son for Christmas two years ago, which was literally the only thing we gave him for Christmas the first year of the financial trouble. That item is absolutely irreplaceable. This was in a corner of the living room where we have been going over toys with our kids and talking to them about making decisions on getting rid of things and the difference between cherished items and clutter. I realize now maybe I should have explained this, as it's been a month or so since we've been able to work on this project and my friend apparently just saw "huge pile of clutter, no use sorting out the little things that fell on the floor", but because of what we'd been working on in that area, 100% of the items on the floor were things the kids had made a deliberate and thoughtful decision to keep. And it's not like they're keeping everything, they filled two 39-gallon trash bags getting rid of stuff! I just never thought I would have to explicitly say not to throw out everything they saw on the floor. I guess it's just different standard or ideas of what needs to be done with clutter. To me it needs to be carefully sorted so you don't dispose of something needed accidentally. To them apparently they just see a space that is a mess and clean it now now now. Which is nice I guess if you can afford to just buy a new set of silverware when a bunch of it gets thrown out in the trash.  (Many of the items I rescued from trash bags were silverware.) But that's not something I can do right now.

Martienne

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The fortunate thing is now my back is mostly in better shape than it was during the periods of time when I was on bed rest because of it, so since things have gotten picked up on Monday I have been able to come down the stairs every day and make a big deal about how everyone needs to pick up after themselves, especially after meals. I still can't do it all myself, but my husband just doesn't think of these things on his own, so none of that kind of thing has been enforced for about 18 months. It kind of makes me into a nag I suppose, but que sera.

Zilla

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The fortunate thing is now my back is mostly in better shape than it was during the periods of time when I was on bed rest because of it, so since things have gotten picked up on Monday I have been able to come down the stairs every day and make a big deal about how everyone needs to pick up after themselves, especially after meals. I still can't do it all myself, but my husband just doesn't think of these things on his own, so none of that kind of thing has been enforced for about 18 months. It kind of makes me into a nag I suppose, but que sera.


I hadn't realized that the house was that cluttered.  I can see they probably thought it was an intervention instead of a simple house cleaning.


And while your dh may not enforce anything but the 12 year old and 7 year old should know better.  You can tell them yourself to please pick up the trash from the floor.  At least they know what to throw out and what to keep. 


I would also get a few cheap bins and put them around so that instead of the floor they put them in the bins. 




MasterofSquirrels

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I guess, if I were asked to help someone clean up a cluttered house, and I saw dirty silverware and stuff on the floor, I too would toss it. I do at my house. If something can't be easily cleaned, it goes. My kid is 2, sometimes he hides things. Those things become gross. Gross things go in the trash.

To me it shows that you and your family have a disregard for your things. If it isn't important enough to put a fork in the sink and wash it, it isn't important enough to keep. I don't think you can ask for compensation. You didn't take care of your things, why would stangers think they are important?

I have sympathy for you. I am not a good housekeeper, but, by your description, I fell that this was a wake up call that things at your house need to change. It's a hard situation to be in. Perhaps you could ask the ladies to help you organize things. You could be there with them and get yourself a system. Your kids should be there too! THey need to know that little elves don't live in the walls and magically appear at night to clean. They are old enough to help. You need the help! Twins and a bad back.  ((hugs))

Bibliophile

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These women came and cleaned what sounds to be a fairly large mess if the kids are not even expected to throw trash away in a trash can.   There is no way I would ask them to replace a $15 kettle.  The kids could've helped take the trash bags out so that you didn't have to lift them - it almost sounds like you're blaming these women for throwing your back out.  If someone is going to come help clean, next time go through and pick out the items that you don't want to accidentally get thrown away before they get there.  They shouldn't have to figure out what is valuable to you - something valuable shouldn't be in a pile on the floor, it should've been put away.

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MorgnsGrl

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I guess, if I were asked to help someone clean up a cluttered house, and I saw dirty silverware and stuff on the floor, I too would toss it. I do at my house. If something can't be easily cleaned, it goes. My kid is 2, sometimes he hides things. Those things become gross. Gross things go in the trash.

To me it shows that you and your family have a disregard for your things. If it isn't important enough to put a fork in the sink and wash it, it isn't important enough to keep. I don't think you can ask for compensation. You didn't take care of your things, why would stangers think they are important?

I have sympathy for you. I am not a good housekeeper, but, by your description, I fell that this was a wake up call that things at your house need to change. It's a hard situation to be in. Perhaps you could ask the ladies to help you organize things. You could be there with them and get yourself a system. Your kids should be there too! THey need to know that little elves don't live in the walls and magically appear at night to clean. They are old enough to help. You need the help! Twins and a bad back.  ((hugs))

I mostly disagree. If I found a dirty fork on the floor, I would put it in the dishwasher (or a sink full of soapy water.) Throwing away something because it's dirty seems wasteful to me.

I think the more responsible thing to do would have been for the volunteer cleaners to take some kind of box or bin and fill it with all the little toy pieces and "parts to a whole" so that the family could have sorted it later. Dirty dishes or toys, sink of soapy water. Dirty clothing items, washing machine. It doesn't sound to me like this is a case of the OP "not taking care of" her things. This is a case of the main "housekeeper" of the family being laid up for medical reasons and not being ABLE to keep on top of things. Sure it would be good if the OP's husband could direct the kids to help keep the place clean, and that could demonstrate that the OP's *DH* might not help his kids take care of their things, but it could also mean that the entire family has been overwhelmed. This requires understanding and support.

Wonderflonium

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It doesn't sound to me like this is a case of the OP "not taking care of" her things.

I couldn't disagree more. I'm not the best housekeeper by nature and have to push myself to keep things up, soI know how that feels. However, people in that household are regularly throwing garbage on the floor. If that doesn't show a disregard for one's belongings and space, I don't know what does.

It sounds like it may have been difficult for the ladies who were cleaning to tell the difference between trash and non-trash. I can't blame them for accidentally tossing some things the OP wanted to keep.
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