Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bridget and the Bells and Do I Have to Clean My House

Yes, here she is, about to be in mortal peril -- or at least in danger of being somewhat mashed. It all ended happily, though. Oh, in case you are wondering, yes, those are sawed off gas cylinder bells. They are all the rage on the BC coast, doncha know, and they sound pretty decent.

Well, I am very pleased to have gotten some great feedback about Egeria from several friends and aquaintences recently (Calgary, Port Townsend, Atlanta, -- you know who you are!) It seems the idea will be a hit, and the technical part of the website is nearly done. We just have to finish designing it and then go through the testing to make sure it all works well. We are postponing our holidays till October, partly so that we can have the site up as soon as possible. So with that, it's time for another installment of:

Egeria FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)!

I'm fairly tuckered out right now (husband away on Group of 12 trip, me with three kids, aaaaah!) so I will just tackle a short one.

Do I have to clean my house? How perfect does it have to be?

Okay, this for some reason is a bit of an anxiety for some people. I personally like to clean my house quite thoroughly before I go away anyway, because it's much nicer to come home to than otherwise. Also we often have housesitters, and we make sure everything is clean for them, or as clean as we can manage will three little kids! If you've ever house-sat for me, you won't bust me, right? The house is always super clean, right? Ha ha.

Naturally, people imagine that to exchange homes you have to make it absolutely sparkle. I would certainly err on that side rather than on the side of *ick*. You want your guest to have a pleasant experience, and you expect the same when you are at their place. So here is how it breaks down:

Option A) Elbow Grease. Clean that house top to bottom by the sweat of your brow. And, er, the grease of your elbows. Side benefits: it's character building, it costs nothing, and you will come home to a house that is unusually shiny even after your guest has been there. I mean, you might even finally clean your oven and that grim area between the fridge and the other thing.

Option B) Hire Someone. Yes, for some of us, this is unthinkable, but you need to consider some factors: How busy are you? What is your time worth? How important is it to present your house well? If it is important, and your time is worth more to you than whatever a cleaner makes per hour, then it might make sense to get help. You will still come out way ahead not paying hotel costs.

Option C) Negotiate. Now, this is a bit risky, and I would suggest it only if you and your exchanging partners have kids and therefore 'understand' one another -- but you could have an "I won't kill myself cleaning if you don't" type of arrangement. You should still have the place clean and tidy, but maybe the oven can wait.
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