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Updated: May 5, 2020

When we were gearing up to leave South Africa, I was very aware of this one big thing I would have to overcome. I was thinking it all through while watching my darling nanny, Geraldine, doing what she did for the last 14 years... and that this would now be me, in Canada, pretty soon.

What was my actual fear around this topic? It wasn't that I did not know how to scrub an oven or floor or iron clothes or even make up an "army-standard', crisp bed that skriks for niks...(Afrikaans phrase: "that's scared of nothing"). I realised it was a "job" that would be headed by myself FOREVER. I was going to be the captain and head girl of this department. Yes, of course the family would all pull together and help, but ultimately it was going to be my baby.

Sigh. So, I always try to minimise the size of the "thing" in front of me by asking the question: "what is the worst thing that can happen?" or in this case, "what is the worst thing about this department you are going to head up?". Worst thing? At that moment, nothing really came to mind. I was thinking broken nails, dry skin from detergents and then it hit me.. cleaning poo toilets (mind racing, having visuals of kids vomiting). Ok yes, that is the worst. Or is it dog poop in the house? Let's stop here. Also, just all the time spent doing these chores.....yuck.

When friends and family in South Africa heard we were moving, a topic that almost always came was about the fact we wont have any help with the cleaning. It felt as if people were concerned and felt sorry for me. How are you going to survive? Gee, was it such a big thing? You know what I am referring to and have probably experienced the same conversations.

I decided that this journey was an adventure and nothing, not the cleaning, not the weather, nothing was going to get in the way of this move to Canada. You need to make the decision for yourself and be positive. Moving and everything that goes along with it, is hard enough. BUT this cleaning thing? It's really not a biggie. - I needed to suck it up and move on!

Here goes - my tips for cleaning house, from the girl who loves cleaning (true story, ask my friends):


You need to think this through. What are the actual tasks required in order for me to be happy in my home? What standard of "clean" will you be happy with? This is key. I had, and still do have a picture in my mind of how I want things to look like and the rest of the family does not. The best thing to do is to sit down with the family and talk/walk through this (there are many ways to do