Living the dream in Sydney can be a juggling act. There’s so much going on, and only so many hours in the day to get things done. It has reached the point that the real wealth in this life and this city is free time. So how can a professional house cleaner save you time, energy and maybe even your marriage?
As the founder of one of Australia’s fastest-growing professional house-cleaning businesses, I’ve seen the innards of a lot of Sydney’s households. It is common to want to project an image of perfection onto the outside world. We can see this so patently with people’s social media profiles. Dig a little below the surface, and it’s easy to see that we are all imperfect humans. This ideal of having it all is unrealistic as, in my experience, life is a series of choices. And whilst few choices are purely binary, each choice subscribes to the law of cause and effect.
Generally, some people focus on making their career the priority; for others, it’s their family; some love to party and others focus on travel. Some focus on exercise, and others find a good time on the couch. In all the thousands of homes I’ve visited, I’ve yet to find the person who has it all. And I doubt I ever will. Perhaps it’s an impossible dream. A mirage in the distant future that can never quite materialise. For once we think we’ve arrived at the place where the promised land of plenty looked like it should be; again, it has moved.
Perhaps the absolute priority is internal peace; some wise sage must have once said this requires finding balance.
We get to see the Sydney social experiment in action, and some of our customers are the kindest and most decent people you could ever hope to meet. These are the ones who have found a work/life balance and have a calm spirit that does not rush or impose. These people are interesting, and I have observed a pattern among them. Their work and life are in balance towards the end goal of facilitating their human relationships.
I used to think that money was the key when I was younger. I devoted myself towards that end and achieved a lot. But the cost was too great, and I’ve managed to reconsider my values and goals accordingly. Indeed, my thinking back then was that if you made enough money to retire early, you could make up lost ground with relationships later. That was a mistake. Now when I look around at society, I can see that we have been conditioned to work hard for our entire lives. The enticement being for some dream of a wonderful retirement that doesn’t always eventuate – the carrot and the donkey. It’s not about getting to the final destination through gritted teeth but about enjoying the ongoing journey.
Now, I finally understand the vital importance of human connection.
So, what’s this got to do with cleaning? Well, quite a lot, actually. On the first visit to a customer’s home, I sometimes notice that there can be a strange and uncomfortable energy in some households when we first enter. This can often correlate with overt levels of clutter, high levels of thick dust and strangely filthy air conditioning filters. It’s like the neglected, hidden corners are emblematic of the hidden deeper things not attended to in the family’s home life. It’s a self-fulfilling cycle. The air quality is often lower, and the energy levels are heavier. This can create a downward spiral. And I love to arrest it.
When a family shifts its focus towards getting help with the cleaning, several things start to happen both in the temporal and energetic realms. Getting help with the cleaning is, in fact, a vital act of self-love and the first step in the right direction.
The early stages of the relationship between a cleaner and their client can turn things around and begin an upwards spiral. The air quality in the home improves, the energy levels lighten, clutter starts to reduce, and the feeling of returning home becomes one of entering your serene sanctuary. More quality time results and getting present with loved ones, and the true priorities in life become easier to achieve. The frustration with perpetually cleaning your home disappears, and a renewed appreciation for life and love returns.
I have a good mate, one of Sydney’s most promising bachelors. Like many of us, he has endured the heartache of divorce. When we first went to clean his home, it was an absolute shambles. I have seen a link between cluttered dusty homes and depression, and looking into his bedroom told me all I needed to know. It was a mess. I called my assistant into the room, a young Spanish lady. I explained to her that this was our opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Today our job was not just to clean for the customer but, most notably, to care for the person. In this case, my beautiful friend.
Usually, when I train new people, I explain the importance of caring. It leaves behind energy and is felt. It can be healing. She got it straight away and accurately predicted that he would become so houseproud that he would start to fold his towels, and she was proven right.
To successfully live the dream in a busy city like Sydney, we must save time and create space wherever possible. We need the time to look around and to enjoy the fruits of our labours. And be present in all the things we love, including our good selves. How can we appreciate the beautiful things in our lives and savour those things yet to come? To view the world through a lens of abundance and bring that attitude of gratitude home with us, and to fill the place we live in with that same ethereal energy.