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Should I have done this?

(37 Posts)
steppemum Mon 24-Aug-09 14:48:56

I am staying in a friend's house. We normally live overseas and are back for a while. In order to break up the time with my parents we are house sitting for friends, so she is doing us a big favour, and I wanted to do something to say thank you. She left the house clean and tidy, but I realised that it was quite grubby really underneath, things like cupboard doors and tops of pictures, light fittings, and mildew on the pvc window frames. I'm not judging, she is a busy mum, but I thought I could leave it all clean for her, so I have been quietly spring cleaning. Now I am having a crisis of confidence. Will she come back and think how nice the house looks, and be pleased, or will she come back and think that I thought her house was dirty and needed to clean it?
What would you think? (trouble is I am lazy oik and I would eb delioghted if someone cleaned my house!!)
Off to the park now, so will collect your responses later....

steppemum Mon 24-Aug-09 14:50:33

obviously will also leave flowers and choccies etc as a thank you.

systemsaddict Mon 24-Aug-09 14:51:37

I am a slob a busy mum too overwhelmed to do detailed housecleaning, and I'd be absolutely thrilled if someone cleaned my house for me! But they'd probably have to gently point it out as I might not notice .... I don't check tops of pictures and cupboard doors often! I think you've done her a favour, and it's a nice thing to do to say thank you for the housesitting.

pjmama Mon 24-Aug-09 14:52:19

Do you want to stay at mine when we next go away? wink

SolidGoldBrass Mon 24-Aug-09 14:52:57

She may not even notice. I wouldn't, if it were me. Those are the sort of areas that one doesn't notice, and so they don't need to be bothered about. I'm sure it was kind of you and all that, but didn;t you have anything better to do? Housework is such a waste of living time that the less one can get away with doing, the better.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 24-Aug-09 14:54:35

I agree that I probably wouldn't notice. Or at least, I would probably think "Oh how nice that she's left it so clean", but no more than that. Would you be offended if she doesn't notice?

beanieb Mon 24-Aug-09 14:55:56

I think so long as you don't re-arrange anything or make new storage places for her then she won't mind. She might not notice at all if things like scrubbing window frames are not important to her.

warthog Mon 24-Aug-09 14:56:01

i would notice and i would partly be really grateful but some small part of me would be mortified that you had thought it so dirty you needed to clean it!

leave chocs and flowers.

steppemum Mon 24-Aug-09 14:56:55

I don't mind if she doesn't notice directly, the house feels brighter and cleaner, and next time she opens a window, instead of feeling oh I must get round to doing something about this mildew, it just won't be there, so one less thing to go on the todosometime list.
Now must turn off night garden and go to park

kitbit Mon 24-Aug-09 14:57:35

I would be going through the same crisis if it were me! In your position, I would talk to her about it and tell her that you wanted to do something nice but then realised that you were implying she was a slattern which is NOT what you intended so here are large chocolates to make up for the insult. Faced with sprung clean windows I might take slight offence, but faced with clean windows, chocs and a slightly anxious friend I would be thrilled

stealthsquiggle Mon 24-Aug-09 14:57:43

See if it was me I might think in the abstract that it looked lovely and clean and be grateful, but I would probably not notice exactly what you had done. If I were the kind of person who noticed it, I would have tried to do it before we left, IYSWIM.

Now when my DB and then girlfriend (now SIL) house-sat and had to deal with the flea population explosion which had happened in our absence (and the absence of the cats who had gone to stay with another friend), that was mortifying.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 24-Aug-09 15:00:53

I would feel pretty crap that I wasn't capable of doing it myself but would appreciate it all the same and buy you a gift.

millenniumfalcon Mon 24-Aug-09 15:01:48

i'd be mortified.

kitbit Mon 24-Aug-09 15:04:22

ANother thought - if you were my MIL I'd be cross and mortified.
If you were my best friend I'd be thrilled.

The difference is that MIL would clean with pursed lips and whiff of singed martyr for weeks while telling everyone she "had" to clean my pigsty of a home. My friend would just help, as you have done, and not judge.

letsgostrawberrypicking Mon 24-Aug-09 15:14:04

I would just think "ooh she's left it as clean as i did for her" I wouldnt even notice door frames/pics etc. Some people would have to point out how hard they have worked on cleaning and then I would be so embarrassed. You sound like you are just going to get on with cleaning it quietly, and leave a pressie too so yanbu.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 24-Aug-09 15:17:46

I agree with stealthsquiggle. I think we are divided into those whoi would notice, and who would probably therefore have left the place you-clean IYSWIM, and those who wouldn't, who well, will just think that you've left it as you found it.

And I therefore disagree witjh kitbit, as her way would make it clear to me that you thought I was a bit grubby, and then I'd be blush.

Leave the presents and say nothing I reckon.

Or does that make you feel like your hard work is for nothing?

TheDMshouldbeRivened Mon 24-Aug-09 15:20:29

can you stay with me next? I would be thrilled with a soupcon of embaressment but i'd expect any good friend to know why my house is a pigsty.

millenniumfalcon Mon 24-Aug-09 15:27:56

fm: i think i fall into a third camp - one that gets by deluding themselves that other people don't notice - i'm completely aware of what needs doing, just don't have the time/energy/inclination to do it.

i'd notice immediately what had been done and it would burst my bubble forever, i'd be permanently uncomfortable about having visitors over etc. (although with this in mind i'd be extremely unlikely to have anyone housesit for me, so op's friend would probably react differently to me anyway).

TheFallenMadonna Mon 24-Aug-09 15:29:26

So there you go OP - you need to anticipate your friend's reaction before you decide what to do. And you may have to go back round and dirty things back up a bit wink

OtterInaSkoda Mon 24-Aug-09 15:34:07

I'm a complete slattern. Combine that with working full time and my house is a disgrace so any help much appreciated. The only thing that would worry me is that your friend might think you've done it because you think her house was sooo grubby you felt compelled to do it - a bit like what warthog said really. Having said that cupboard tops and window frames aren't that contentious - if you'd emptied her kitchen cupboards, cleaned them, thrown out the out of date stuff, ordered what was left by height/alphabetically then that would be well OTT.
What's your place like, steppemum? If your is as (or nearly as)grubby as hers and she knows this, it lessens the risk of offence imo. Basically if a fellow slattern cleaned mine I'd be thrilled. If my holier than thou sil did I'd be annoyed grin

MamaMaiasaura Mon 24-Aug-09 15:39:25

We live b a national park.. want to come stay grin.. got a 'dead mouse' problem.. no idea where the little bugger is but it stinks.

stealthsquiggle Mon 24-Aug-09 15:43:14

I gave up feeling guilty about the disgraceful state of our house when we finally got a good cleaner. We don't pay her for enough hours to do it all, but the feeling of walking out of a pigsty and back into cleanliness and order is soooooooo good.

It doesn't really help with the thorny issue of whether or not to say anything to your friend though - I can see both sides of that one.

TheChilliMooseTalksNonsense Mon 24-Aug-09 15:47:36

She probably won't notice, so don't fret about it. And you are more than welcome to come and stay at my house. grin

iamtrufflepig Mon 24-Aug-09 15:55:27

I would be very grateful. There are so many little jobs that I never seem to get round to having spent all weekend doing the housework and washing. However, as kitkat says, if it was my mil it would be a different matter altogethersmile.

GirlsAreLoud Mon 24-Aug-09 15:56:39

If you did this to my house I honestly would not notice.

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