Friday, April 20, 2012

Learning to Barter

For many years hubby and I have been helping out a single mom.   She lives in low income, subsidized housing and is unable to drive.  She's unable to work and lives on subsidy.  

We've helped her by taking her places she needs to go, ie church,  grocery shopping, errands, doctor's appointments, etc.   Often times we'll have spent the entire day driving her places, which can take us hours away from home.

With the cost of gas and hubby's unpredictable work hours it has been challenging at times.  So we struck up a deal with her !    For 4 hours of driving, she would come and clean our house for 4 hours.   She was really pleased about this new arrangement, as she had wanted to give back in some way, but didn't know how or what.   I have to say, she is the most amazing cleaner !    She cleans in places that I would only get to occasionally.   Working full time, most often all I have time or energy for is do what's needed most. 

She has far exceeded my expectations in cleaning.  Not only does she do the regular dusting, vacuuming, wash floors, bathrooms, she also dusts/cleans the high spots - top of door sills, blades on the ceiling fans, etc. She also volunteered without us asking; washing windows, cleaning the oven and fridge.  She even took all the books off the bookshelves and dusted every nook and cranny.

She doesn't have regular access to a washing machine, so I told her to bring her laundry with her when she comes, and because she also has some dietary issues, I pre-make a nutritious lunch with food she can eat and leave in our fridge.   

She's thrilled with the arrangement - she gets her laundry done, a nice lunch, and an opportunity to give back, something she's wanted to do for a long time and I have a very clean house !

Win Win for all !


  1. This is the way we have to conduct business! Both of you are satisfied and both of you receive something that each of you need.

    Yes...Win Win for all!


  2. Plus you allow her to keep her dignity. This is wonderful.

  3. This is a win win blessing !!! And so nice that she can wash her clothes too.

    I'm drawn to your blog here especially for the gardening posts. I'm 'starting' out small this year hoping for great success, SO far so good!
    The year past when I took courage to endeavor in this passion of mine I went 'BIG' and boy was it a disaster.

    Thanks for sharing all that you do here... homesteading, natural foods etc..

    I'm a new follower!!

    Blessings, Deanna
    ... stop by to visit anytime:)

  4. How great for you both. She doesn't need to feel like it's charity for you to drive her where she needs to go now and you've seen the benefit of her skills that give value to her efforts. Everyone is blessed in this case - love it!!

  5. What a great way to help someone else and give them a way to give back. Kuddos!

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