By Wangeci Kanyeki
| September 8th 2016
I read Ruth Lubembe’s article titled, Ode to My Housekeeper, in last week’s Sunday magazine, with a lot of interest. In the article, Lubembe hilariously narrated how her household suffered when their house help was on leave. Personally, I had to take a two-week break from work when my house help was away.
I have come to the conclusion that the middle-class or “wannabe” middle-class Kenyan woman, myself included, is too dependent on the house-help. How can we become more independent and do most of the chores ourselves, or at least be able to keep our houses running smoothly with or without the house helps?
The thing about house work is that it is monotonous: Just when you finish cleaning the dishes and the cooking stove, it is time again to cook the next meal. There must be more to life than cleaning and washing. And as you know may know, a house is never quite clean until the laundry is done and dishes are washed. Here are my suggestions on how to detox from your house help.
Invest in a washing machine. OK, that may sound expensive and out of reach. But those chama (merry-go-round) and sacco savings can come in handy, if you put your mind to it and plan for it.
The advantage of a washing machine is that you can do the laundry while you carry on with other tasks, meaning you can save time by doing two chores at the same time.
Though the initial cost of a washing machine can be high, it will save you a lot of headache and dependence on the house help. When buying a washing machine, ask the supplier the advantages of using a front loader or top loader.
The washing machine will save you from the “back-breaking” washing, wringing, rinsing and wringing again.
Ask the supplier for an energy-saving washing machine which uses less electricity, less water and less detergent powder. Also, find out the washing load the machine can efficiently clean at any one time. Buy a washing machine that proportionally fits into your laundry space and one that matches the rest of your appliances in colour and style.
Though dishwashers have not picked up yet in Kenya as a must-have in the kitchen, it is time we invested in this useful gadget to remove the drudgery and monotony of washing dishes. Ensure that the load is full to maximise on energy used.
The dishwasher helps to keep dirty dishes out of sight and off the counters and saves time. For fewer dishes, the old practice of hand-washing is still the better option.
Whether you choose washing and cleaning equipment to ease your house work load or you choose to hire a house help. Or you are physically-strong and do it all by yourself, you must let household members to know that the responsibility of cleaning the house is a shared one. Each member needs to contribute to housekeeping or live in a hotel.
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