The making of an Inn Keeper. Day 1
Who said making a bed was easy? I know I was never a super fastidious kid growing up. My Mother was constantly on my back about keeping my room clean and at 16 I was nearly disowned because of it. My Mother never spent much time forcing me to clean up, That was my sister's job, She was a cleaner. She always kept her side of the bedroom tidy, always did the dished without being told and finished them in a timely matter. Me? It took me at least 3 hours to wash, dry and put away the dishes. It was my Mom's fault really, the TV was too close to the kitchen and I was hooked on The Young and the Restless... Days of our lives... and maybe All my Children. It's a good thing that Coronation street was not my thing back then! Anyway my point is that I could only wash dishes during commercials. It was tedious and time consuming but I did eventually get them done but I never, ever made my bed!
When I left home in Newfoundland, I gravitated to farm life in Ontario and Montana. I never cared about the inside of a house. I was more of an outside person. I preferred life on the farm. Horses, cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, pigs, and even skunks. I rescued everything!
That was then...
Fast forward 30 years... I have become a bit obsessed with cleaning. I guess it was always there, hidden, it just took a little longer to develop. Now I make my bed everyday.
Enough of the preambling verbiage. I'm sure you are going to get to know me much better as the time goes and this blog becomes famous. (we can always hope).
Today's story is about making beds. As I mentioned in the beginning, not as easy as one is led to believe. Not when you are trying to impress the public and justify why your Inn costs what it does and rates at a 4.5 star with Canada Select.
Yesterday was my first day making a bed alone. My mentor, Lucy had to go away and tend to her sick Mother. She has spent the last nearly 3 weeks training me to take over the Inn, an Inn that her and Kevin built from scratch. Lucy is Italian. I don't think I need to explain that any further...
When she left, I thought pfft. NO PROBLEM. I've watched and learned everything she taught me. Got the cleaning down pat. I made the beds EXACTLY like she showed me, with her help... (I'm just now coming into my OCD and fully appreciating it, at least in this business. (It's really the only career that OCD is appreciated) I had no fear that my standards are every bit as high as Lucy's. My OCD even overrode Lucy's on a couple of occasions, so naturally we were both feeling excited and proud of that.
I gathered my cleaning supplies. A navy, lint free cloth for cleaning the toilet. A light blue, lint free cloth for cleaning the shower and sink. A red, lint free cloth for cleaning the floor. A old bath towel for laying in the bath (we have very large air jet tubs and yes we have to get inside them to clean them properly) two smaller dry/clean old hand towels for drying the toilet and tub and shower (separately) paper towels for the mirrors and glass. A lint/hair sticky thingy. Three dusters. An extendable one for the pictures and light fixtures, a smaller one for the bed frame and still another for the helper person. We use all natural cleaning supplies because I have a scent allergy and I hate the smell of harsh cleaners and of course we are all trying to save the planet! So with all my equipment in place, I make two trips upstairs to the Peter Easton room. It's one of our Ocean view rooms, named after the infamous pirate, Peter Easton. He was kinda like our version of Robin Hood.. You'll have to come visit so I can tell you his story.
I believe I am ready to do my job. I open the door and I walk in and *poof* I immediately forget EVERYTHING that Lucy taught me! I start with the bed and then I remember that, crap, I can't start with the bed because what if when I'm cleaning the bathroom, I accidentally leave something on the bed or when I sweep/vacuum the floor, I blow dust and actually get a hair on the bedspread.
Instead, I start with the bathroom. Clean the toilet and I use the navy blue cloth. Check. Clean the floor around the toilet, Check. Clean the outside of the toilet and then the inside of the bowl. Check. Done.
I move onto the bathroom floor, sweep and vacuum up in case there is hair or the floor. Check. Then the shower. Get inside. Oh crap forgot the towel. Get out put the towel on the floor. No wait, clean first then put towel on the floor. I get out get the cleaner. get my light blue cloth, put my cleaner on it, and just to be safe, I'll put some spray cleaner on the walls first.. Soap up the shower. Rinse shower. Scrub floor of shower. Use brush. Sure why not. Maybe I should get the toothbrush and clean the corners... Nah it's fine I just did that yesterday... But wait... Lucy said if you did it briefly everyday then you will never really need to spend a lot of time later. get Toothbrush. What the heck, it shouldn't take me very long to clean this room. After all, I just did it yesterday and the guests from last night Didn't even USE the shower! My logically side knows this but it just can't convince my illogical side of this... Ach better to be safe than sorry , After all it shouldn't take me very long to clean this room. I put the clean old bath towel on the shower floor and step inside to dry the shower with the other clean, dry hand towel. Making sure the shower head and faucets are sparkling clean and the glass is shining. Looks good. Onto the sink. Same procedure as shower minus the bathmat. Check. Done!
Now onto the room floor. Get swiffer out sans swiffer spray. Instead place damp RED lint free cloth on swiffer and clean. But you don't just swiff back and forth. You must start from point A and use specific wrist action to point B and make sure you get all corners and parts of the floor, including under the bed, night tables and everywhere else. Clean the mirrors, clean the glass. Remove Glasses, used or not. Dust light fixtures and pictures.
NOW I can finally do the bed. Should only take 15-20 minutes...
Dust headboard and foot board. check. Move side tables away from bed. check. Get lint roller. Roll pillows and bedspread, to make sure no hairs get into the new bedding. Check! Roll myself, in case I have any hair on me. Check! Fold bedspread/duvet from bottom up. Then top down and then in half. Check! Place in safe place. Remove top sheet, do not fold into bottom sheet. Remove bottom sheet. Remove pillow cases. Place in three separate piles. Cannot risk touching floor. Immediately come downstairs and place in laundry room. Check! Get fresh, ironed sheets out of closet. Place in safe place. Apply bottom sheet, run around other side 4 times. Roll lint roller over bottom sheet. Place strategically folded flat sheet on bed. Place in center of bed, Unfold bottom half first. Run around other side of bed and do same. Unfold top half and run around other side of the bed and do same. Crap. I didn't put it exactly in center of the bed, pull sheet up so that crease is at the top end of the mattress. Crap one side is longer than the other. Huge problem! Take sheet off, fold properly and do over. Movement is limited without disturbing bottom sheet. Can't have any wrinkles. Run around the other side and do same. A little more... a little more... okay perfect! Roll lint roller over sheet. Get duvet. Repeat. Put in middle of bed. Unfold bottom, then unfold top. Too short at the top. Ugh. Can't wrinkle sheets. Refold and do again. Run around bed and unfold... Perfect! Next part is easy. Pillow cases. Check! Two feather and two Poly. Check! Feather pillows are too soft to stand up well. They go in the back. Pillow cases are ironed but crease in middle because they where folded in half. Put on Feather pillow anyway and placed in back. Wait! no! Guests will noticed that they weren't ironed. Run downstairs, iron pillow cases. Place on pillows and stack. Front pillows. Crap. Need to iron those too. Run back downstairs and iron other pillow cases. Put pillow cases on pillows. Wait pillows cases don't cover the entire pillow. Don't look right. Wrong pillow cases. These go on the Feather pillows. Switch pillow cases. Wrinkled. re-iron. Pillows done. display doesn't look like what Lucy did. Run to Amelia Earhart room to see what I did wrong. Crap! Pillows are facing the wrong way. Opening of pillows facing in. Show be facing out. Turn pillows around... very very carefully (I hear bugs bunny in my head now) please don't wrinkle, please don't wrinkle... I stand back, I look around at the room. Go over everything in my head. Chuckle to myself at the whole scenario and my complex. Feeling proud of my recently discovered OCD. Go downstairs, get clean glasses, put away cleaning supplies. I put the kettle on, ready to relax and have a cup a tea before the next guests arrives. Strangely enough, or so I thought, the doorbells ring announcing the arrival of new guests. Hmmm I think, check in is not until 3 pm. I look at my watch and yep. It's 3 pm. That's when the panic hit me. I am NEVER going to be able to succeed at doing this is it's going to take me 4 hours to clean one single room! Crap, forgot to put the Duvet in the Duvet cover!
A little bit later that day. Lucy called me to ask how things were going. The conversation went on for her to say, she feels that she has so much left to teach me. That that they worked hard to build their reputation, and to gain the 4.5 star Canada select rating. It was important for us to continue with the same quality.
I simply smiled and said "Okay".