Ask a House Cleaner, Survival Tool, Savvy Cleaner

1 Survival Tool for House Cleaners

The #1 survival tool for house cleaners is the tip for today. As a house cleaner or maid, your clients will lie. And you will have daily employee challenges. But the #1 survival tool for house cleaners will keep you sane during those brain fog moments of panic.

We Ask a House Cleaner about the #1 survival tool for house cleaners for things you’re not expecting.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says you will break stuff. And you will leave cleaning supplies at home. Your vacuum will break, and you will get locked out of homes. Here’s what to do.

Today’s sponsors are Savvy Cleaner Training, My Cleaning Connection, and HouseCleaning360.

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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: 1 Survival Tool for House Cleaners

 Okay, on to today’s session, which is, “What is the number one survival tool for house cleaners?”  

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Answer: 1 Survival Tool for House Cleaners

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Woman Thinking While Holding Cleaning Tools-minI got asked this question the other day. I stopped to think, “Well is it this one or is it this one? Because there are two.” Oh no, there are two, but I’m only going to tell you about one today.

Quick and Rational Thinking Is the #1 Survival Tool

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Woman in Apron and Gloves Thinking-minOkay, the number one. This actually trumps number two. The number one survival tool for house cleaners and the house cleaning business is this. It is the ability to think in a quick and rational way on your feet.

Wow, that’s it. And until we meet again … No, I’m kidding. I won’t end this so quick. Let me explain.

Your Survival Tool Kit Will Save the Day

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Woman On Phone Sick Child in Bed-minWhen you are a house cleaner, you’re going to run into a lot of things that I wish you didn’t.

You will have problems from the initial walkthrough where people lie to you. And they tell you things about their house that are not true.

You will run into challenges where you have employees that don’t show up. But you have clients you need to serve that day.

And you will run into problems where employees will tell you things that are not true. You will have to learn to read between the lines and rationalize and reason with those people. Because they’re going to come back every day and work for you.

Your Survival Tool Kit Will Help You Navigate Problems

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Woman Putting Out Fire in Oven-minThere will be problems where things happen inside someone’s house that you’re not expecting. 

For example, a toilet breaks on you, or you break a sink, or you shatter the glass in the oven of their door. Or you light their house on fire, or you break their shower glass door. 

There are a whole array of other things that you are not expecting that will happen on the job.

Bonding and Insurance is Another Survival Tool

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Graphic Bonded and Insured-minNow it’s one of the reasons we’re bonded and insured. Because things that we don’t expect will happen. We are human and we will have accidents. There is no getting around that. Thinking on your feet and staying calm during these times is paramount to your sanity.

Something bad happens like we shatter a glass shower door and our first reaction is to freak out. We start cussing and we’re like, “Whoa, what are we going to do?” Then we go into this panic mode.

Panic Mode is a Trigger for Your #1 Survival Tool

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Hand on Cell to Dial While Driving-minWhen you are in panic mode, all your ability to reason and think clear disappears. It’s just gone.

There you are, left there with your eyes wide open and your mind is like fog, and you can’t think in a clear manner.

It’s like when you’re in danger and you go to call 911. You touch your cellphone and you can’t remember the number. You don’t even know how to get to the place on your phone where you dial the numbers. Your mind has gone into a panic mode.

Fight or Flight Syndrome is a Built-in Survival Tool

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Graphic of Fight or Flight-min“The fight-or-flight response, also known as the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety.

The term ‘fight-or-flight’ represents the choices that our ancient ancestors had when faced with a danger in their environment.

They could either fight or flee. In either case, the physiological and psychological response to stress prepares the body to react to the danger.” – A Very Well Mind

When that kicks in, there is an adrenaline rush that surges through your body. And it hits your brain, for a second everything whites out.

#1 Survival Tool Thinking On Your Feet is a Learned Skill

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Broken Toilet-minThe ability to reason and think in a clear manner on your feet during fight or flight is a learned skill. You need to learn it as your number one survival tool in the house cleaning business.

Because things will happen a lot. You’re going to need this ability to respond and reason above all others.

What happens instead of cursing, if cursing is your default, that’s what you do, stop.

Stop and realize, wait for a second, I’m having one of those moments. I need to calm myself down. I need to come back to center and I need to focus on what’s happening.

Use a Generic Trigger to Help Refocus

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Cleaning Up Broken Glass-minNow for me there’s a trigger. If something malfunctions in my house, I might have one of those “oh my goodness” moments. I say to myself, in a calm mode with no expression, no emotion, “I wish that didn’t happen.”

Now it’s a generic enough statement that it brings me back to focus because it’s true I wish that didn’t happen.

I’m acknowledging whatever this has just happened. But I wish it didn’t.

Turn the Focus from Problem to Solution

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Stop Sign-minNow I can stop and I can ask myself, “What do I wish did happen?”

That gives me a different frame of mind where now I can start looking for solutions. 

I won’t focus on “How am I going to clean this mess up” or “How do I get myself out of this?” I won’t ask myself, “How do I hide from this so people don’t think I did this?”

Instead, the answer is, “What do I wish happened instead?” I wish what happened instead is I wouldn’t have used such force cleaning the shower door that caused it to break, or I wish I wouldn’t have sprayed this on the oven at this particular temperature to cause the glass to break, or whatever it is.

This Can Help You Prevent Future Mistakes

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Woman Cleaning Glass Shower Door-minI can wish something instead. When I do this, it often shows me it’s probably the exact opposite of what I just did. But it shows me the solution to what I wish would have happened instead. That’s my second default.

This lets me know in the future, to prevent this from ever happening again, here’s what I need to do from now on.

So number one, before I even clean up the mess, I’ve acknowledged the mess. Number two, what do I wish happened instead? This is to future-proof me from it happening again.

Think – “What Should I Do Now?”

Survival Tools For House Cleaners, Facebook Forum Screenshot.35-minThen my third default is what am I going to do about this particular scenario right now? What are my options?

I don’t want to just default and start doing anything. I don’t want to hurry and start cleaning something up.

Maybe what I need to do is take a picture of it first.

Maybe there’s an online house cleaning forum that will give me advice.

This might help me to make any future decisions.  

Evidence and Proof

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Washing Machine Overflowing With Suds-minMaybe I need a picture of this before I clean it up to file with the insurance company.

You can’t say to the insurance company, “Hey, I was cleaning a person’s house and I broke their shower. I need you to cover the cost of a new shower for these people.” If you already cleaned up and have no proof.

Anger Vs. Danger

The fight or flight physiology is fueled by adrenaline. And it’s easy to confuse adrenaline or danger with anger.

Anger is one letter away from the word danger. If you spell danger and anger, there’s one letter difference, and it’s the D.

You don’t want to go into a panic mode where you do something you will later regret. In that moment, “Oh, I wish that didn’t happen. Okay, what do I wish did happen?” and then, “What am I going to do about this particular scenario?”

Slow Down, Stop, Think

Survival Tool for House Cleaners, Cleaning Woman in Flooded House-minSometimes this only takes three to five seconds to process it all. Those three to five seconds will save you endless amounts of trouble on the other end.

Your number one key to survival in the house cleaning business is to slow everything down and just stop. And to be able to think in a quick and clear manner on your feet.

Don’t React on a Whim

There will always be weird things that happen to you and around you while you are cleaning. Some of them are situations outside your control. 

If you just default to reacting instead of responding, things will not go smoothly for you. There’s a huge difference.

If you just react, a lot of times your choice will be incorrect and it won’t serve you for the long term.

Respond with Caution and Care

Hire me, Happy house cleaning man washes dishesTake just a second, bring everything back to focus, and now you have the chance to respond.

Then you can respond in a way that will serve your business and will protect your reputation. It will help you make wiser decisions for the future of your business.

Your number one survival tool is to be able to think in a clear and efficient manner at the moment. Bring yourself back to focus.

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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

How to Think Clearly: A Guide to Critical Thinking –

Introducing Logic: A Graphic Guide –

The Science of Intuition: How to Access the Inner-net of Intuitive Knowledge –

Improve Your Conversations: Think on Your Feet, Witty Banter, and Always Know What to Say with Improv Comedy Techniques –

Think on Your Feet – Techniques to Analyze, Organize and Present Ideas Persuasively –

Thinking on Your Feet: How to Communicate Under Pressure –

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