Ask a House Cleaner, In the Moment, Savvy Cleaner

In The Moment – The Most Important Thing

In the moment is different from zoning out. The most important thing you can do when cleaning a house is to be in the moment. 

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we cover awareness vs. routine. Sequence vs. mental checklist. Being present and asking permission to shift gears when needed. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says being in the moment gives you choices. Be alert, pay attention, be flexible, and be a savvy cleaner.

Today’s show sponsor is

HouseCleaning360 is a business referral network for house cleaners and maids and housekeepers.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: In The Moment – The Most Important Thing

Now, today’s question comes from a man who wants to know: “What is the most important thing that you can do while you’re cleaning houses?”

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Answer: In The Moment – The Most Important Thing


Now there are lots of answers to this question. And it could be sanitizing, it could be organizing, it could be tidying up, it could be a bunch of different things. But my biggest suggestion would be to be present in the moment.

girl washing windows listening to headphones in the momentDon’t Zone Out – Stay In The Moment

While we’re cleaning houses it’s easy to put headphones on and just zone out.

If you’re zoned out, you’re not paying attention to all the little things.

Now, when you do this for a living and you’re working for a customer who’s paying you for your service.

There’s an important need to stay in the moment. Because things will happen. And you may need to flex, and change what you’re doing, or change your routine just a little bit.

Stay In The Moment – Because Routines Change

For example: let’s say that you clean a normal person’s house. And you go there every week or every other week, and you have a routine. And you always start up in the left master bedroom and you move your way down through the house. And now today there is somebody staying at home because they’re sick in that bedroom.

So, when you get to the house instead of going to your normal routine, you might have to stop what you’re doing and change your routine up a little bit.

Keep a Mental Checklist Woman with brain puzzle staying in the moment

Here’s the catch: when you change up your routine there’s a tendency to forget stuff. Because you’re not doing the normal pattern. You’re out of sequence.

So, you have to stay in the moment, and you have to stay present. And you have to make a mental checklist which says “Oh,  hey, I skipped this whole bedroom earlier today. And on my way out as I’m vacuuming my way out, I vacuum the hallway at that time, in that order.”

And so now you have to realize “I skipped that hallway too because I skipped that bedroom.”

Use Your Worksheet to Stay In The Moment Checklist in the moment keeps you on task

So, when you go back to do the bedroom, now you have to go back and make sure that you clean the hallway. So, it’s one of the reasons why we use a worksheet.

Because if you’re going through your worksheet, you’re checking things off as you go. If you skip something or you go out of sequence, it’s going to remind you to go back and hit those items you forgot.

There are also things about staying in the moment that has nothing to do with the job itself.

In The Moment is Being Aware Seniors doing taxes in the moment

It’s about being aware of what’s going on around you, in the space that you’re cleaning in.

For example: if you have a customer for ten or fifteen years, as time goes on, they’re going to be ten or fifteen years older than when they hired you.

And so, if you’re present and you’re aware in the moment, you might see cognitive slipping. It might be they’re putting things in the refrigerator that actually belong in the pantry.

Awareness Gives You Choices

And then also maybe you need to call a family member and get help. “Hey, we have some issues going on here that nobody is seeing, except me because I’m in the house on a regular basis.”

Does your client need help? Are they capable of getting help on their own or do they need you to help them get help?

And so being present and being in the moment will alert you to those kinds of things.

Being In The Moment Allows You to Switch Gears Twin Towers in NYC - In the Moment pre -Sep 11, 2001

And sometimes you might have to switch gears altogether.

I remember on September 11th of 2001, I was cleaning a house. And the woman that owned the house had recently relocated from New York City. And in her job there, she worked in the World Trade Center.

And so there I was cleaning the house when I hear screaming from the other room.

Are You Okay?

So, being present in the moment, I run downstairs “Are you okay?”

And she’s sitting on the couch crying, watching replays of the airplane that ran into the first of the Twin Towers. And so, my cleaning house is suddenly menial. It was no longer important.

What was important is this woman’s entire career took place right there in the heart of the chaos. All her friends and all her associates worked there.

 terrorist attacks on 9-11 in the moment updatesIn the Moment – And Time Froze

And so, we spent the next four hours sitting on her couch. We watched the take down of the other Twin Tower.

While she tried calling her friends to see if they were okay. And just trying to make some connections.
Her husband was in New York City that day.

He was not harmed but he was in New York City on business that day.
And so now she’s worried about her husband, She couldn’t get in touch with him for hours. And then when she did, she’s like “Don’t get on an airplane.”

Her whole world unraveled, as it did for most people that day.

But being in the moment I had to make a decision, and I was the boss and so I could just make that decision.

What Do You Do When Gears Change? In the moment, twin towers NYC with American Flag collage

I didn’t have to call headquarters and say “Hey, can I help this lady through her issues?”

There was obvious chaos going on that day and cleaning house had nothing to do with any of it.

It just kind of went by the wayside and it was not important to her. And it would have been annoying (and rude) had I been running the vacuum and going about my merry way.

What she needed in that moment was moral support for the loss of her friends.

And so, you have to be present in the moment, because there are things that will happen.

Get Clearance If You Need It

And if you’re not the boss you may have to call headquarters and say, “Hey, listen, something has come up at this client’s house today.” (i.e. There’s been a death in the family, the house caught fire, is flooding etc.)

And get permission to switch gears. And if you’re the boss, you have the right to just make that call.
But be present in the moment because that will keep you on task. It will keep you from being sloppy in your work, it allows you to be flexible when things malfunction.

Because when it comes down to is you are an extra set of helping hands. And sometimes your clients need your helping hands more than they need a clean countertop.

And so being present in the moment is a way you can be of best service to your customers.
 Alrighty, so that’s it for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

In This Moment: Five Steps to Transcending Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroscience –

The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World –

The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty: Fascinating Truths About What It Takes to Create Truly Loyal and Engaged Employees –

Intuitive Leadership Embracing a Paradigm of Narrative, Metaphor, and Chaos –

What Would It Take?: Overcome Crazy Times, Enormous Change and Chaos to Double Your Profits and Halve Stress –

Mindset Empowerment: How entrepreneurs can shift to lasting abundance, success, and badassness! –

Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In –

Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior –

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