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I am not sure if this is where I should post, but I am looking for some advice. I am just starting a cleaning business, so I offered my neighbor and friend to clean for a couple hours for free so I could get some positive reviews for my website.....I always knew she struggled with keeping her home clean, but I had no idea it was this bad! They have a two yr old with severe allergies and who is always getting I know why. They had clothing, toys, clutter, dirty dishes, old bottles, filthy flooring and carpeting that looked as though it had never been cleaned. I was horrified to say the least. I am a pretty neat person, but my home is not perfect by any means, but compared to hers, mine looked immaculate.

My question is, do I have any obligation to help her get out of this situation? She is only 21yr old and she seems to have way too much stuff for her home already. I just felt so bad for her son and husband! Do I do nothing? Say nothing? I was thinking of offering to help her organize and purge/clean her home over a period of time, but I think that may be stepping over a boundary? IDK.....we are friends and our families do get together, only at our house though.....their home smells so bad we don't like to go over there. Any advice? Let it be?



If she asks for help, by all means give it. If she does not ask for help, do not offer it unsolicited. That would be tacky.


You could try to casually bring up the offer of help during a conversation. Maybe ask her if she was satisfied with the cleaning job you did, and if she would recommend your services to others. While you’re on that topic, maybe suggest that if she ever needs assistance again to get things in order to give you a call. After that, the ball is in her court.

She is fairly young and may not really know how to juggle all the things that are entailed with being a mom and keeping a home. I had my son at 21, and it was very difficult to keep everything in order. I would have jumped on the offer of help organizing and decluttering if it had been offered.


[quote="Mamanurse, post:1, topic:226667"]
I ? IDK.....we are friends and our families do get together, only at our house though.....their home smells so bad we don't like to go over there. Any advice? Let it be?



clean for the two free hours you promised her, focusing on one room, probably the kitchen.
give her a list of what needs to be done now, with a price, discounted if you wish for the sake of friendship, but do charge if you are starting a business
be honest on this list as if you were giving a quote to a business.
if the carpet needs to be replaced tell her that you cannot guarantee to clean it sufficient to guarantee her family's health so you won't be responsible.

then give a list of what you would do on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to keep it up, with a quote

then solicit her feedback by asking, as a potential customer, if she thinks people would find such a plan helpful.

DD handled this identical situation by offering to hire the friend in question part-times so she could teach her how to clean. That person ended up taking over the business when dd moved on, and her house is immaculate (no, DD did not learn this from me).


Well, thanks for the replies. I guess my concern is the health of their son. I had to step over boxes, piles and piles of unclean clothing and towels, dishes and old food all over the kitchen. I already provided the service for her and actually spent a little more time on it because of the filth. She was never to be considered as a potential client because I know they cannot afford it, so the future paid cleaning services aren't an issue. I guess I just feel a sense of obligation to help as a friend. I guess I will just let it go, it just seems like a sad situation for them and I know that the cleanliness has been an issue for them as a couple. But I will take your advice and won't mention it.


If the cleansiness is an issue as a couple, I would not say a thing. For all you know her husband is a slob and feels she is a nag. There could be a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Also, clean in some ways can be a matter of opinion. Last Christmass, I was at my mom's and she was running around cleaning the house because the priest was coming. She put a couple of things away and then said 'It is good I got the house clean before the priest showed up.' I bit my tongue but the place did not look that good

Perhaps your friends are OK with the house as it is considering all their other time commitments



If the house is as bad as you say, it could be as someone said a problem between the couple, or mental illness of one of them, in other words a much bigger problem than any offer of cleaning could possibly help. If you do the couple of hours that you offered (you will by the way not get any good reviews from that, because you will not be able to do enough to make it look good) and you notice that a couple of weeks later the part that you cleaned up still looks good, than it might be worthwhile to offer to do some more cleaning, but if you notice that it is right back the way it was, there is something else going on that no amount of cleaning can help. If the poor health of the little boy worries you, pray for him, invite him to your house, take him on outings, but don't think that if you clean up his house it will stay clean enough to make a difference.

I do not mean to sound harsh or uncaring, but it is the sad truth that often the problems we see are not the real problems.


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