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Dirty Jobs

Someone’s got to do it -- from removing lice to cleaning up pet waste to packing up a home



Jill Bazos and Nicole Fields of L!ceOut911 get to work in their Bedford Hills studio.

Photo by Rana Faure

Growing up my father had a mantra when it came to any kind of household chore: Hire someone. Need the lawn mowed? Call Jimmy, the 90-year-old man with the John Deere. My college-era IKEA armoire had to be assembled? Get some freshman engineer. Light bulb out? Ok, I suppose there are limits. But there are some jobs no one wants to do no matter what. Enter several local businesses that are there to clean up your literal mess.

Perhaps nothing has a higher ick factor than lice—I’m itching just thinking about it. The world grinds to a halt. You contemplate shaving your head, burning your house down, and moving to a world devoid of anything that crawls except eight-month-old babies. But the stress can be easily mitigated by the help of a lice professional. And now we have a team right here. Pound Ridge moms Jill Bazos and Nicole Fields have opened L!ceOut911 in Bedford Hills, a scientific and thorough approach to getting rid of lice in their relaxing, salon-like office. With its beautiful and freshly decorated facility, it’s easy to forget why you are there.

Drinks and magazines are available for parents and caregivers, while kids are kept comfortable and engaged with movies, arts and crafts, healthy snacks, and more. But creating a peaceful space to tackle a brutal problem was just one step in starting this business. They went through weeks of training to learn all about lice from the nit stage on to the adult bug (and I’m itchy again). 

Says Bazos, “When it’s not your kid, it’s scientific. The body language of the moms who come to us shows how stressed they are. We explain our methodology and also educate about what to do and say. They leave empowered.” 

While getting rid of lice may be a crisis situation, other unappealing tasks are more on-going in nature. DoodyCalls is a pet-waste management service run for 15 years by husband and wife team George and Audra Sichler. Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. They pick up dog poop. While at first it may sound like an SNL sketch, the business is very real and thriving as is evidenced from their several lime green trucks seen throughout our area. And while technically their business is based on waste, owner Audra Sichler insists they are really about something unbelievably precious.

She says, “People can laugh, but we’re about giving back time. Everyone is so busy during the week, our clients have an extra 30 minutes on a Saturday morning to have a cup of coffee or play with their kids.”

Marie Kondo’s book The Magic of Tidying Up has brought home organization to the best-seller list, but it is still a task many find insurmountable. Factor in the emotion of helping a loved one downsize (or prepare to) and the situation quickly becomes charged. Local business Moving in Tandem, founded by Joanna Bassett and Pam Paterson of Pound Ridge, provides that help minus the stress and guilt. For an hourly fee, Bassett and Paterson roll up their sleeves and chip away at the piles, even if it’s just one room at a time. With their discerning eye and input from the client, they relegate some things to the dumpster and others to consignment stores and local charities.

With lives today crammed with driving, activities, work and more driving, down-time is precious and outsourcing unpleasant tasks has become commonplace (exhibit A: Ashley Hickey, licensed potty training expert). And while hiring someone to handle these ‘dirty jobs’ can certainly be called a luxury, the relief provided is invaluable.

 Says Paterson of Moving in Tandem, “Years ago, I did a total clear out for my aunts and uncles who had been living in Stamford for decades. It took weeks and was a huge ordeal. I wish I could have called someone to say ‘please come help us.’”


MOVING TIPS
Overwhelmed? Bassett and Paterson say: 
1) Establish a timeline.
2) Make a floor plan of your new space to determine what you will keep.
3) Make three piles of your belongings: keep, discard, and sell or give away.
4) And be realistic—just because you spent a fortune on something doesn’t mean it is worth a lot today!

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