“Where does stuff go?” A house cleaning newbie wants to know. Every house cleaner knows how to clean, and some know how to clean fast, but many wonder “where does stuff go?” It’s among the house cleaning FAQ in our minds.
Home organization is not part of most house cleaner training. And when a customer begs “come clean with me” or “clean my space” you’ll find yourself wondering “where does stuff go?”
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru talks organizing tips and ways to use speed cleaning to create clutter-free areas.
Savvy Cleaner (expert cleaning tips) is a sponsor for today’s Ask a House Cleaner cleaning video. Also, Savvy Perks (employee benefits program for small business owners.) My Cleaning Connection (a resource hub for cool cleaning stuff.) And HouseCleaning360 (a place to partner house cleaners with homeowners.
Listen: House Cleaning – Where Does Stuff Go?
Watch: House Cleaning – Where Does Stuff Go?
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.
Question: House Cleaning – Where Does Stuff Go?
“Hi, Angela. My name’s John, and I recently had the idea of starting a cleaning business. I’ve never actually cleaned houses before. But one of the things that I’ve been looking into that I’ve been a little confused is, when I go into a customer’s house, how do I know where certain things go?
If I were to go into a kitchen and there’s something there that may be out of place, how do I know where to put it? Or do I just clean around it? If random stuff is lying around the house do I leave it or where do I put it?”
Where Does Stuff Go? For Real!
All right, John, that is a great question. Where does stuff go? I got good news for you. You already know.
You’re a grown man and you already know where stuff goes.
Bathroom stuff goes in the bathroom, kitchen stuff goes in the kitchen.
Now if you go into somebody’s kitchen and you’re cleaning and you find silverware, what do you do with it? Wait, wait, I’m going to tell you. It goes in the silverware drawer. Yes, you win.
And if you have dishes, where do the dishes go? Yes, they go in the cupboard. See, this is so easy. You already know. If you have towels, where do the towels go? In the linen closet? Yes, you’re correct. See, you already know. If you’ve lived in a domesticated house, you already have a pretty good feel for where this stuff goes.
Where Does Stuff Go? Ask on the Walkthrough
Now, as you do a walkthrough with the customer, let’s suppose there’s something unusual like maybe a bunch of Legos on the living room table. So, you may ask, “Is this table dedicated to the Legos? And do they live on this table or is this just something happening here today?”
They might say, “No, my kid was playing. He meant to put those away.” That’s a great time to segue into the conversation, “Is he going to pick them up before I come to clean your house?
Because if he leaves them out, I run the risk of running over them with my vacuum. And erg, your son would kill me if I ate up all his Legos with my vacuum.”
The Customers Can Fill in the Blanks
They will tell you on the walkthrough what you need to touch and what you need to leave alone. There may be collections of stuff or china cabinets they want untouched. If there’s something that’s off-limits, they will tell let you know. But for the majority of things you just going to be cleaning it and dusting it and leaving it where it is.
Where Does Stuff Go in the Bathrooms?
Now if you go into someone’s bathroom you will see all kinds of shampoos and creams and potions and makeup. What you’re going to do is dust it, wipe the counters down and organize everything and put it right back.
You’re not going to move it too far and you’re not going to take it and put it in containers and hide it in a closet. You don’t do that.
But you’ve lived in a house and you have a pretty good idea that bedroom stuff goes in the bedroom, clothes go in the closets. They should have everything picked up for you when you get there. You’re going to be doing maintenance cleaning if that’s your agreement.
Where Does Stuff Go? If Not Sure, Just Ask
Mark Twain once said that if a woman can’t get what she wants by being smart, she can get it by playing dumb. I’ll give you a secret: so, can men. So, you can say, “Look, I’m no good at guessing where stuff goes and I would hate to put something of yours in a closet where you may never find it again.
So, if you’ll put all that stuff away before I get here, I’ll just come and clean and I’ll just do what I do best. Clean.” Most people will go, “Oh, okay, that sounds like a plan.”
The good news is you’re off the hook. You don’t have to worry about where everything goes because you already have a pretty good instinct of nature about that. You kind of know, right? If you’re not sure, you can always ask the client.
If You’re Alone and You Have a Question – Send a Text
Suppose you’re cleaning and you’re working alone, you can send the client a text and say, “Hey, I see something on your kitchen counter I’ve never seen before. Am I supposed to clean around this or do you want me to move it and put it away? If so, where would you like me to put it?”
Oh, my goodness, isn’t that easy? You can ask questions. And you don’t have to know all the answers. You just have to know that you are capable as cleaners. But communication is the key.
As things arise, there will be questions. As long as I’ve been cleaning houses, there are questions. Then I just go back to the customer and I’m like, “Oh hey, what about this?” It’s not like I’m less of a house cleaner because I asked a question. It’s just the opposite.
Asking Where Does Stuff Go? Doesn’t Make You Less of a House Cleaner
“Hey, I’m more of a house cleaner because I paid attention, and I have a question so that I can do my job better to serve you better.” Oh, I love this. See, you’re going to be just a great house cleaner, John. I am so confident you’re going to be just fine. That’s where stuff goes. It goes where it goes. If you’re not sure, ask.
Resources For This Episode
Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets – https://amzn.to/2LKym7s
Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day – https://amzn.to/2xs4B89
Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff – https://amzn.to/2H5nyx4
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – https://amzn.to/2kz4m1M
The Complete Book of Home Organization: 200+ Tips and Projects – https://amzn.to/2JcrelR
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