Ask a House Cleaner, Messy House, Savvy Cleaner

House Cleaner Visits Family’s Messy House

Messy House. You’re going home for the holidays and your family has a messy house. Do you offer to help clean? We Ask a House Cleaner the protocol for relatives with a messy house when you are the house guest.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru shares an opinion and a few tips instead of cleaning advice.

Show up as a guest, not a maid or a house cleaner. If you try to one-up them they will feel bad and become defensive. There will be animosity, competition, and anger. You’re not getting paid to clean, and their priorities are not yours.

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Question: Messy House – House Cleaner Visits Family’s Messy House

Messy house. “My sister has a messy house. Should I say something to her about it?” We’re going to answer that question today. 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.

Our question today about a messy house. The holidays are coming. There’s a girl that’s going home to her sister’s house for the holidays. And she hates her sister’s house because her sister’s house is messy. She says, “My sister must know she lives in a messy house. Should I tell her and maybe offer help her to clean it?”

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Answer: Messy House – Everybody Deserves to Live in a Clean House

Messy House, Just be a Guest, not a house cleaner this holidayOkay, that’s a fair question, and the answer is no. No from the bottom of my heart. I’m a house cleaner and I want for your sister to have a clean house. I believe that everybody deserves to live in a clean environment.

Having said that, though, you wouldn’t go up to a fat person and say, “Hey, you’re really fat. Would you like me to help you lose weight?” It doesn’t work that way.

Don’t Be A Buzz Kill

Messy House Sisters ChattingWhen you say those kinds of things, you put the other person on the defensive, and now they’re angry with you. Whatever joy you are hoping for with your sister you will destroy with this suggestion.

If your sister lives in a messy house, my guess is that she is well aware of that. Every time she goes to find something, and she can’t find it, she’ll know she lives in a messy house.

Messy House May Not Be a Priority

Messy House, Mom is busy with 24-7 childcareNow there may be a reason her house is a mess. It’s flat out may not be a priority to her. There may be other things going on in her life that need more time and attention than cleaning her house.

I know a woman, for example, who has a child with disabilities. All her attention and all her focus are on taking care of Shelly and just getting through the day. Everything she does is a strategic choice.  And sometimes house cleaning is not on her list of “to do’s” for the day.

Shelly needs 24/7 care. Her mom is always exhausted. She’s tired and would give anything for a nap. And sure, she would love a clean house. But sometimes it’s just not in the cards.

Celebrate the Best In Your Sister

Messy House Forgotton, Sisters Piggy Back RideBecause you are a house cleaner, you will see things that are not clean. It is a blessing and a curse. But if you are a guest in someone else’s home, it’s not your place to say anything. And if you offer to clean your sisters’ house, she will feel inadequate. And that will create animosity between you both.

Bite your tongue. Go to her house and don’t say a word. Don’t offer to clean up.

She knows you clean houses for a living. Maybe she’s been cleaning for days, knowing that you are coming. 

Generic Offers

Messy House Family chatting in kitchenDuring the holidays there is usually some cooking in the kitchen. A good generic offer is this: “Is there anything I can do to help?”

If she asks for help with cooking or cleaning – sure, jump in.

Do what she asks and no more. Don’t rinse out a sink of dishes and then start organizing her cupboards. Don’t sweep and mop the floors. Keep the generic offers to generic services rendered.

This will prevent you from stepping on her toes. 

Don’t One-Up Your Relatives With Your Cleaning Skills

Messy House Happy Family playing board gameAs house cleaners, we want to help organize that messy family. That is what we do for a living. It’s our Mulligan. And it comes off the wrong way to family members who don’t need a freebie.

This holiday season, when you spend the time with your family, go as a guest. They are not paying you, and you are not at work. Just go as a guest. Be sensitive to the fact that they’re doing the best that they can. 

If they need help, they will ask for it.

Alrighty, so that’s my two cents for today. I’m sorry your sister lives in a messy house. I hope she figures it out soon. 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

Why Can’t We Get Along? Healing Adult Sibling Relationships  –

Adult Sibling Relationships –

Sisters and Brothers for Life: Making Sense of Sibling Relationships in Adulthood –

Holidays: Family Nights Tool Chest –

Simply Tradition: 70 Fun and Easy Holiday Ideas for Families –

To the Mom with a Messy House –

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