housecleaning crisis
December 14, 2016 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Due to a confluence of life events spiraling out of control my apartment is now disgustingly messy to the point where I think I need to bring in a service to help me get things back on track. I am feeling a great deal of shame and sadness about this. Please help me get some perspective and some ideas as to what kind of cleaning service I need to contact.

Long story short: ever since Thanksgiving my life has been fairly chaotic. Thanksgiving week itself was busy with family commitments. The week after Thanksgiving I started graduate school (part-time, classes are three days a week). This has led me to get a bit lax about basic housecleaning (mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom). I am also in a band, and have had either a rehearsal or a gig every day until last Saturday. I was out of town last Wednesday-Sunday for gigs, and had what I thought was a reliable friend to come in for some cat-sitting.

Evidently this cat-sitter didn't understand the point of my hiring her, since she didn't scoop the cat litter once while I was gone. The cat has gamely continued to pee and poop in his litter box but it was overflowing when I got home and the place just reeks of cat excrement.

Furthermore, said cat-sitter apparently went on a massive cooking spree (I have a nice kitchen) while I was gone and didn't bother to clean up after herself. Dirty dishes everywhere, kitchen trash is overflowing.

Needless to say this cat-sitter will never be hired by me again.

But now, between the overflowing litter box and the mess in the kitchen, there are fucking fruit flies and regular flies everywhere. I just opened the fridge and there are DEAD FRUIT FLIES all over the inside shelves. It's disgusting. The place just looks awful, hoarder-level awful.

What complicates this situation further is that on Sunday on my way back home from my gig I started coming down with what at the time felt like a monstrous head cold. This got worse on Monday, and I went to the doctor to find that I have a sinus infection (with vertigo!), tonsillitis, and strep throat. I've been antibiotics and told to rest rest rest. I've been given a doctor's note to get me out of class this week. I currently have a fever of 102. I have to reschedule two exams.

I'm overwhelmed and filled with despair about the state of my apartment. I need to rest and get better but I cannot live in an environment with overflowing catbox, overflowing kitchen garbage, dirty dishes, and fucking flies flying around. I am too weak to really even get a small portion of this mess cleaned up. I feel like my stress about the disgusting apartment is going to make it harder for me to get better.

At this point I think I just have to bite the bullet and hire a cleaning service to help me get my head above water. There is no way for me to do this by myself given my illness and I cannot live in filth for another full week until I have recovered.

Is there such thing as an emergency cleaning service? This isn't a hoarding situation, this is just an unfortunate confluence of mess and filth. I don't have an emotional attachment to this grossness, I want it gone and I can't do it alone. Any ideas of who I can call or what search terms I should be using to find it?

Also, I am feeling a great deal of shame about the state of the apartment even though it's not entirely my fault that it's gotten to this point. The idea of making a phone call to anyone to ask for help makes me want to cry hysterically. How do I get beyond this so I can ask for the help I need? I'm so ashamed right now, and so exhausted, and so sad.

posted by thereemix to Home & Garden (45 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Housekeeping is not a moral imperative. It's a practical matter, and, like any of the practical demands of life, sometimes circumstances conspire to make it unusually difficult. That is not a reflection on your character or your overall worthiness as a human being. Hire a cleaning service. They absolutely will have seen worse.

If you live in a large city you may be served by Handy. I'm not a huge fan of their concept overall but it's not a time to be excessively fussy. I haven't had any problems with the people I've occasionally hired through them. Best of all, you can book via their website, so you don't have to speak to anyone.

If Handy is not available, can you ask a friend to make the call for you, if the call itself just seems too overwhelming and fraught?
posted by praemunire at 9:54 AM on December 14, 2016 [10 favorites]

It's disgusting. The place just looks awful, hoarder-level awful.

Your apartment, to me, sounds 'very messy' level rather than 'hoarder level.' You don't have hallways filled with boxes of junk creating a fire hazard. You don't have dead cat corpses lying around. You don't have a bunch of food containers which have been moldering under your bed for months. You have a bunch of dirty dishes and a dirty cat box and some flies. Frankly, and this may horrify you, my place has looked worse before.

I don't say this to make you feel bad. I say this because your shame is 100% unnecessary. If you hire a housecleaner - and a totally normal housecleaner will do, you do not need hazmat services for this situation - not only will they have seen worse, I absolutely guarantee you that they have seen worse THIS WEEK.

You're sick and stressed out and angry about your catsitter, which is probably making you blow this situation up in your head. Plus I get the impression that you are a cleaner-than-average person. But this is so so so not anything that a normal housecleaner would think of as even slightly out of the ordinary.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:56 AM on December 14, 2016 [33 favorites]

Whoever you hire to clean your apartment, they will have seen far, far worse. I promise. This is no big deal. Call and say, "I just got home from a trip and my house sitter trashed my apartment. How much for a deep cleaning?"
posted by something something at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2016 [67 favorites]

Call a cleaning service and tell them what happened. They'll have a "first cleaning" fee. They won't demand to know why your living space is so filthy, nor will they so much as roll their eyes on the way out. Believe me, a week or two of cat litter and leftovers will be nothing to them.
posted by Etrigan at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Google your city + cleaning service (or use Angie's List, BBB etc) and tell them you want a one time deep clean for a house that got a bit out of hand. I guarantee they've seen worse (my BFF was a housekeeper and this doesn't even rate for things she's told me) and they're going to come clean and never think about you again.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 9:58 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I mean, there are cleaning services that specialize in crime scenes and places where people have died and not been found for months. You could hire one of those, I guess, but I think you're catastrophizing and it's not as bad as you think. Cleaning services are used to very messy houses, and they sometimes deal with places that have been neglected for much, much, much longer than yours has. You can just contact a normal cleaning service (or get someone you know to contact them for you if you're going to have a tough time doing it) and explain that due to a confluence of events, the place is kind of gross, and can they deal with your dirty dishes and whatnot. Then leave a big tip.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:59 AM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

If you can't find an independent person to do the housecleaning, call up a maid service. Let them know that you are ill and that you need a deep clean. I'd plan to spend at least $150-$200 but with an independent person, you can probably negotiate better. On the other hand, a service will likely send more than one person and they can be in and out faster. Do it. You'll feel so much better. Sorry about the cat sitter! What a nightmare.

Edited to add: please don't worry about judgement. You aren't "calling for help" you are calling for a service. This is their business! They are in the business of housecleaning! You are doing them a favor by being a customer. They will not have judgement about you and it's not shameful to get a housecleaning service.
posted by amanda at 9:59 AM on December 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Oh, that's awful about the house-sitter. I'm confused about whether or not you've cleaned the cat box, but if you haven't, can you just have a friend bring over a new litter box and throw out the old one?
posted by amarynth at 10:00 AM on December 14, 2016 [17 favorites]

You let housekeeping slide while you had other priorities and your cat sitter was a mess. No shame needed. Put that shame burden down.

Any housecleaning service will come and do a deep cleaning - a few hours and things will be up to par. Also, next week all the services will be busy with "pre-holiday" cleans. No need to overthink it - just start calling down the highest reviewed cleaners on yelp/angie's list.

Call today.
posted by 26.2 at 10:02 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

You're getting great advice about the cleaning service, but I just want to point out to you that you are running a high fever and are on heavy drugs. When the feelings of panic or shame arise, just take some deep breaths and remind yourself that everything looks worse when you're really sick. Your first priority is to take care of yourself, and hiring a cleaning service is a part of doing that. No shame. Take good care.
posted by janey47 at 10:03 AM on December 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far.

Do I need to be out of the house while a service is here to clean? What about the cat?

Sorry for my ignorance. :/
posted by thereemix at 10:03 AM on December 14, 2016

Two thoughts that I hope will make you feel better.

1. Trust me, housecleaners have seen far worse than this. Don't feel shame! Doing something about a problem is not something to be shameful about.

2. This is location dependent and I am making a big generalization here but housecleaners are often immigrants who need the work and money. By hiring one you are supporting someone who desperately needs this income. To that end, make sure you are paying them a fair wage and not just going with the cheapest possible.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

You're sick, so it seems to me you can specify that you will be in bed while they clean and to send folks over who are not allergic to cats because you have one.

Hope you get healthy soon. This feels like a big deal because you are sick and overwhelmed. Call soon; getting your place cleaned will make you feel much better. No need for shame, honest!
posted by Bella Donna at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Do I need to be out of the house while a service is here to clean? What about the cat?

Nope. You'll need to be home to take the first person they send (usually a salesperson or supervisor rather than the actual cleaners) through the place and point out anything in particular you do or don't want cleaned. After that, the cleaners will come and clean around you as necessary.
posted by Etrigan at 10:06 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

You can be there during the cleaning if you want to. I usually move around so as to always be where the cleaning isn't happening. My husband just lifts his feet so that area of rug can be vacuumed.
posted by wryly at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

You do not need to leave while they clean. They should be aware of your cat just so they don't leave the door open to bring in gear. Also, they will likely not touch the litter box.
posted by 26.2 at 10:08 AM on December 14, 2016

Your cat can definitely stay home. You can choose to stay home, or stick around only to let them in and go grab a coffee. It's up to you.

Think of it this way. You are perfectly capable of making scrambled eggs and a toasted bagel for breakfast, yet you (or at least, many people like you) regularly pay $8-12 for the service, often multiple days a week. House cleaning is the same damn thing. It's easy to think "Oh, but I could totally do that for myself..." when really, it's OK to pay someone for help if you need it and can afford it. So hire someone, and feel no guilt.
posted by samthemander at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Google Amazon housecleaning. Put in your zip and find the highest rated cleaner available at the soonest date. Book. Plus, first timers get $30 or something off.

When our apartment was a mess due to holidays and wedding planning, this deal was just what we needed--and we were two able bodied people in a small apartment. The person who came was great and we stayed in the apartment and told her which areas were most dire.

ETA- also our dogs stayed during this service and it was totally fine.
posted by inevitability at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

You don't need to explain it to anyone, just do whatever you need to get it done. If the best way to do that is to hire a cleaning crew, and you can afford to do so, I say do it without guilt. You don't feel guilty for paying for someone to cook you a meal at a restaurant, right? It's the same sort of shortcut.
posted by deathpanels at 10:10 AM on December 14, 2016

1. man, please tell me you didn't pay the cat sitter??
2. take out the trash – it won't get rid of the fruit flies immediately, but it will mitigate the problem quite a bit
3. things will be okay!
posted by speakeasy at 10:16 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seriously, this doesn't sound too bad at all! 3 weeks of mess is a piece of cake for any house cleaner. I suggest using a cleaning service (find one on Yelp or wherever) rather than Handy, since they're a bit more professional.

If your litter box is cheap enough to replace I strongly suggest getting a replacement, a large trash bag and chucking the whole thing. Makes it a bit easier for yourself and the cleaners. The cleaners won't be able to remove the living fruit flies all at once (although a spotless house will drive them out pretty quickly) so if you're up to it, you could make a quick trap right now (apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap).

You can stay in the house while they're there (you can tell them you're sick if it makes you feel better, but trust me, they don't care that you're there). Just swap rooms so they can work in peace.
posted by acidic at 10:16 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

I spent a few years as an estate buyer for a used book / record / antiques shop, and saw the inside of a lot of houses. Trust me when I say that NOTHING in your apartment, given your take on it here, will even begin to approach the worst of what the average professional cleaning crew has seen.

Find someone local with good references and get your place back into a shape that you'll be comfortable living in it - you can do this with zero shame and no worry at all that you're going to upset the people doing the work. It won't even register.

In the meantime, you can create a cheap trap to knock down the fruit fly population by putting some red wine vinegar in a cup and adding a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension. The flies will go to drink the vinegar, fall in, and drown.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:18 AM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'd look on craigslist for this. Personally I think a local person with their own business is your best bet, plus on craigslist you can communicate via email which I, as a shame-filled and phone-phobic person, find so much more dealable.
posted by selfmedicating at 10:20 AM on December 14, 2016

If you can afford it, leave the keys for the cleaning service, buy yourself a night at a local hotel, order room service and watch TV, and return to a clean home.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 10:21 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Definitely use Handy if you have it in your area. They can have someone there today, most likely. (The business model is problematic, but this is what you need right now. FYI I used the service 3 times then asked the cleaner I liked best if she just wanted to work for me directly. I offered to pay her what I was paying Handy -- which amounted to a raise for her, since they were no longer taking a cut. She said yes and we had a happy one-year cleaning relationship until she moved away.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:22 AM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

Sssshhhh. You're being very un-dude.

I'm kinda going through this right now because our drier is broken (it only heats up sporadically, so we might tumble clothes 6 times before they dry). This has caused laundry to back up, which snowballs into the house getting out of control.

I think a regular cleaning service is all you need. Nothing sounds crazy. It sounds like something that two healthy people should be able to knock out in 2-4 hours. It sounds like something one sick person can never get done, so don't be hard on yourself.

Dishes: I love dishes because at some point I can tell that I'm done cleaning dishes, because there are no more dishes. I would give you my strategy for doing them, but you're sick. Fuck that. The house cleaner will do your dishes, no problem.

Fruit flies: I hate them. I know you do, too. This is because food has been left out. When the dishes are done and the kitchen is clean, the flies will be gone in like two days, tops. My wife made a couple fly traps by leaving half-full wine glasses (with wine that was going to be thrown out, yeah, I don't know how that happened either) in the kitchen with plastic wrap covering them, and then poked a couple holes in the wrap. Flies went in and died when they couldn't get out. Personally I just take fruit flies as a sign that I need to clean the damn kitchen. Now, you've got them in the fridge. That's a problem, and you might need to throw out all the food that isn't wrapped and clean the fridge. The house cleaner should be able to do this for you.

Litter box: If the house cleaner won't do this for you, you (or a friend) can just empty the whole box into the trash can and throw that in the garbage. That's what we do. If you don't feel like it, maybe just throw the whole thing away and buy a new one.

Laundry: This can take a while, so they might need to make a couple visits, or you might just need to accept that you're going to have a pile of laundry to do when you feel better. Or you can maybe phone a friend and be like "Friend, I will owe you one, but can you please come wash enough clothes so I can chill in clean undies and pajamas?"

You can tell the cleaner that you're just going to crash in your room until they need to clean your room, then you'll move to the couch. They'll understand. Or maybe you can crash with a friend for a day. Or maybe you can get a hotel room (but you probably don't feel like moving right now). Don't worry about the cat. They deal with cats every day.

Fuuuuuck this sucks for you right now, but you know what? Being sick in a clean house is so much better than being sick in a dirty house. If you can afford to have a cleaner come over I don't think you're going to regret spending the money on it. Totally worth it. Also, don't worry about the state of your place right now. You're sick, a bunch of shit has aligned to make this the worst couple of days in a while, and you're dealing with it. No shame. Get well soon.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:26 AM on December 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Re: the fruit flies, once the dishes and trash are gone, in addition to the traps you could do a 'drain volcano' (baking soda followed by vinegar) in your kitchen sink drain. Fruit flies sometimes lay eggs down drains. I had them in a house in college once and this plus the trap plus frequently taking out the trash cleared it up very quickly. (Also don't leave fruit out, particularly bananas, they're called fruit flies for a reason as it turns out!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:33 AM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

My mom was a cleaning lady, due to economic conditions directly related to that, I went with her to work a lot as a little kid. Cleaning people don't care if your house is dirty. That's the job. They've seen worse.

Also many people who have weekly cleaning feel this shame you feel. Sometimes so hard they clean really thoroughly before we would arrive. It was always kind of weird/sad; much more so than a filthy house. We'd vacuum and hang out for a few minutes and then leave.
posted by French Fry at 10:33 AM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

Hey, because of the suggestions of Handy on here, I just went to see about what they would charge me. I got the quote but didn't book anything. And heh heh they just emailed me a 25 percent discount offer. So there's that.
posted by janey47 at 10:46 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Good things:

- You're taking care of yourself and will get better soon, so this is temporary.

- You're in a band!?!? That's pretty cool. Nobody really expects band members to have perfectly clean houses.

- You have a cat, which is awesome, and your cat poops in the box, which is really great.

- You don't have fleas (unlike the question a couple above yours).

Reflect on these, and feel confident when you contact a cleaner. If you want to mention that you're in a band, nobody here will judge you.

(In fact, if it sounds to the cleaner like you might have this problem again in the future, that would potentially make you a more attractive customer.)
posted by amtho at 10:51 AM on December 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Just going to point out that my husband and I have people clean our place about every two weeks and I have never felt shamed by the people who clean our place. I have felt slightly shamed by manicurists who tell me to stop biting my cuticles, dry cleaners who demand to know what kind of alcohol I spilled on a silk dress, hair stylists who tell me that I should use salon quality product and my hair would look so much better if I came in more often so I wouldn't have so many split ends but not the people who clean my place. If anything, they tell me my cat and/or baby is cute and do their thing.

I usually stay home while they clean just because I don't have extra keys to give them but if you can get out for an hour or so, coming home to an apartment that's been cleaned by someone other than you is a feeling I like a lot. I feel like a Disney princess and want to do a twirl. But either way, it's fine. Feel better soon!
posted by kat518 at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

I don't have advice for you, but I can say you are not along -- I'm in a similar spot, I'm thinking about hiring someone, and feel like a total loser who can't handle or control their own life. I'm working hard to recognize that's just anxiety talking. Good luck.
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:25 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, hire a cleaner.
And while you wait for them, collect what little energy you have and clean the corner you'll be spending the most time in (probably around your bed). Don't vaccuum or anything, just pick up the stuff that doesn't belong here and dump it in the next room, throw away any wrappers and snotty kleenex etc. Make a little (semi-)clean haven for yourself so you don't have to look at filth all the time while you're sick. You'll feel a little accomplishment and your clean corner will be good for your soul.
And then get some sleep.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:31 AM on December 14, 2016

Adding to the chorus that you should not feel ashamed about this, full stop. Getting a little lax about floors and toilets during a busy time is one thing, but it sounds like your house-sitter basically trashed the place while you were out of town, and that doesn't reflect poorly on you one bit. If I may draw a parallel, my car was stolen earlier this year and it was eventually recovered but in a deplorable condition. We did not even attempt to clean it ourselves but took it straight to the car wash for a professional detail. This sounds to me like exactly the same situation: picking up the pieces after someone else's neglect.

Good luck to you. Make that call today, and I hope you feel better very soon.
posted by anderjen at 11:57 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

This guilt you are feeling is misplaced- you didn't not empty the cat box, those are not your dishes!

Deal with the cat box asap and don't feel bad- get the house cleaned however you can.
posted by freethefeet at 12:31 PM on December 14, 2016

It's okay. Sometimes things like this happen. The one thing I allow myself to do, if it's financially feasible, is to throw out things I would normally clean, if they're in really bad shape. i.e. food in a Rubbermaid container in the fridge that's gone super moldy and gross. I just throw out the whole shebang because it would make me gaggy and sick and guilty if I took the time to clean it. I know this is a bad move on my part w/r/t the environment, but... sometimes you make exceptions.

Do this with the cat box, unless it's some sort of super fancy or pricey one. Just double-bag some trash bags or use a contractor bag and toss out the whole thing.

Hire a cleaning service, mention you want a deep clean, and specifically mention any areas in need of love, like the fridge, because some cleaning services don't do these areas without prior discussion. It may also cost you a bit extra, but it'll be awesome and clean when it's done.

Living in a clean space does wonders for your body and mind. Do yourself this kindness and get back to feeling good about your home.
posted by rachaelfaith at 12:40 PM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

if you're up to it, you could make a quick trap right now (apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap).

Similarly, when I got a bad case of fruit flies from a huge farmer's market produce haul I made this past summer, I just put out a small bottle of white vinegar with a piece of cling wrap rubber-banded over the mouth. If you poke a tiny toothpick hole in the wrap, the fruit flies can get inside to drink the vinegar, but they won't be able to escape. It took down the whole swarm in less than 48 hours for about $1 in materials.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:55 PM on December 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

You will, in your lifetime, engender or be trapped in much shittier situations than this. So sure, you can be a little embarrassed about the state of your home, but I swear to you that you do not need to feel catastrophic shame about this.

I say this as someone sitting in a currently pristine home that I got this way partly by sobbing down the phone to a friend to please come hold garbage bags for me, and as a person who has previously sat in a house so dirty I cried at the thought of asking anyone to help me. And then I sucked it up, hired a cleaner, told her I was really embarrassed, and then it got better.

Nobody - nobody - is as overwhelmed by the state of your home as you are. Promise.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:50 PM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

I love threads like this because the good people of MeFi are so wonderful about telling people to let go their shame and guilt over things that feel enormous but are really blown out of all proportion.

Please feel no shame about this. I would encourage you to feel no shame about this even if you were totally healthy. This is a quality of life issue. You, for a reasonable price, can vastly and immediately improve the quality of your life. And you can do it by letting someone earn honest money for honest work. This is a no-brainer if you let go your shame and guilt. Do it! Life will be so much better with a clean house!
posted by bluejayway at 3:51 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was present for a cleaning service before google translate existed and had to pee in a cup because I didn't know the Polish for "I need to use the toilet"

I would get your fridge checked too; googling says fruit flies tend not to breed/develop below a certain temperature.
posted by brujita at 5:30 PM on December 14, 2016

You guys are the best. Thank you.
posted by thereemix at 5:40 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm not proud of this but it's the truth: I'm not an easygoing person, and I'm kind of judgy about people's housekeeping. And yet I, even I, would not judge your situation the teeniest tiniest bit. Someone trashed your house, for goodness' sake! Someone who was supposed to be doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of that!

I'm so angry at her, but I just want to give you a hug.

Throw away the whole litter box apparatus. Find a cleaning service by whatever means. Tell them you were out of town and your house got trashed and needs a deep clean, including the fridge and drains* (this is for the flies.) Tell them you're not feeling well and will be in the bedroom while they clean, together with the cat.

It will be 100% routine.

*if they don't know how to do the drains, it's still ok. Just dump a ton of boiling water, followed by baking soda, down there after they've done the rest of the house, let sit, follow with vinegar; should be all right. If not: bleach.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:15 PM on December 14, 2016

The existence of housecleaning services, including 'extreme' housecleaning services, is a clear sign that your situation is not uncommon. If it wasn't happening to other people pretty regularly, there wouldn't be any services, let alone many of them. Let the invisible hand of the market wipe away your tears of shame, soothe your soul, and pour you a drink.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:06 PM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Eight years ago, my ex trashed my apartment. Food wrappers everywhere, dirty dishes everywhere, effluvia everywhere you looked. He wouldn't want to get up from the kitchen table where he was gaming online to go upstairs to the bathroom, so he peed on the floor and threw coffee grounds over it to eliminate the smell. I was working 80+ hour weeks with 0 days off at the time, and just couldn't deal. When I kicked him out, I begged a friend, through tears, to please come help me and not think worse of me for the mess. She hugged me and told me, "Don't take on his shit." What you have is the cat sitter's shit, not yours. This is all on them.

One to four years ago, I worked sporadically as a housekeeper for two friends. One is a single mom of three, the other is married with three kids. Both have a home office out of which they operate direct sales businesses. To the outside world, they're polished and put-together, and you'd imagine their homes to be immaculate. Which they were. When I left. When I got there, however, it was another story entirely. Aside from cat boxes, their homes would easily surpass yours in mess level. Take your kitchen, multiply it by teenagers, add a husband and a business, and you'll have some idea what was going on up in there. I absolutely guarantee that unless your housekeeper is brand spanking new at the job, they'll have seen worse.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 7:16 AM on December 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

I don't know if anyone mentioned this but for another perspective, it sounds like you have a gross refrigerator, dirty dishes, a gross litter box and a lot of trash to take out. That's it. If a cleaner came over, threw out everything in the refrigerator and cleaned it up, replaced the litter box, took out the trash and ran the dishwasher a few times, you'd be in good shape. What I'm trying to say is that this is a totally solvable problem. So call someone who can solve it while you focus on your health. Feel better soon!
posted by kat518 at 11:16 AM on April 19, 2017

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