I broke down about three weeks ago and hired a cleaning service I found in Real Simple magazine called Maid Brigade. I was dubious that the Pod would get as clean as I could make it. The steep price of $80 an hour also didn't seem recession-friendly. The Maid Brigade claims to be the "ONLY national house cleaning service that is Green Clean Certified™," a certification process the company has devised. I've found from my own research that consumers tend to be dubious as I about a company's own certification or rating process and prefer to have a third party (think Green Seal, Fair Trade, LEED, etc.) rate goods and services. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the promise of a home that was friendly to my family and the environment and scheduled a visit.
And boy was it a brigade that arrived! The Maid Brigade has a policy of sending two housecleaners per job "for safey precautions and efficiency" I was told by the sales manager on the phone. They also arrived with two huge bags of equipment and "green" supplies. They were extremely professional (they came with a binder detailing the particulars of my job: 525 sq ft; hard wood floors; big 'ol mess in the kitchen; icky bathroom). I made a few small requests, gave a brief tour (how long does a "tour" of a studio take anyway?) and left with the Babe in tow. Ninety minutes later we arrived back home to find a sparkling version of the scrubby Pod I'd left behind. I took a deep breath - not a wiff of any toxic fumes either.
What's it like to raise a newborn in a 525 sq ft Manhattan studio? I don't know yet but for the next few months I'm blogging about our decision to live small as a means of living a more sustainable (and frankly, more affordable) life. This is an exploration of the coolest new tools to economize on space, ecofriendly baby products and musings on the "less is more" approach to child-rearing.