I’m a happier person when my house is clean and tidy. The problem is, I’m not exactly the best at keeping my house that way, because I’ll start scrubbing away in the kitchen, then get distracted by some of the clutter on the counter, and next thing you know, I’m cleaning out the bedroom closet … and the kitchen? It’s still not spotless.
Having someone come to clean on a monthly basis is something I’ve done for a long time. It’s an investment that’s good for both my mental health (oh, the shame spiral I send myself down when I look around and my house is messy and I can’t find the motivation to do anything about it during my limited free time) and, frankly, my marriage (I’m sure we’re not the only couple who can be a little snippy about this stuff, right?).
There are a few challenges I’ve faced in this — and, after talking to friends, I’ve realized it’s not just me. First up is finding someone who’s background checked, vetted, and available. Then, once I’ve got someone I like and trust, it can be harder than you might think to schedule them on a regular basis. And, if I want to book a cleaning on demand without a ton of lead time — like, before company comes or after a party — that’s a whole other story.
Turns out, there’s an easier way. It’s called Handy, and it’s kind of like the Netflix of home cleaning (along with other household tasks like furniture assembly, hanging pictures, etc.), allowing you to book fully vetted, background-checked pros via the handy.com website to come to your house as soon as the very next day (or as far in advance as you’d like).
The website is extremely easy to navigate — in fact, I think I probably had an account set up and an appointment requested in just a minute or two. Between the background checking, high ratings, and the fact that Handy is now a part of Angie’s List, I felt really confident about using the pro assigned to me — and the fact that the price is given up front is pretty great, too. Plus, you can specify whether you want a basic cleaning or something more specific and involved, and, if you like the pro who’s assigned to you, it’s easy to have the same one come back in the future. (Or, if you don’t love them, you can have someone different sent out the next time at no additional charge.)
Now, I know people often joke about having to clean the house in order to have their house cleaned, but I’m here to say that, while it’s not necessary, there’s something to preparing. So, I thought I’d share a few tips based on my experience.
- Be clear about what you want — and make sure that lines up with what your appointment provides. Handy offers a list of what you can expect from an appointment, but suggests you also talk to your pro to ensure you’re on the same page.
- Add extras when you book if you want them. Things like cleaning the inside of your fridge or a laundry wash and dry are available for an additional charge when you sign up, and that’s the time to request them. Once your pro has arrived, you’ve only got them for a specific amount of time.
- Make the surfaces you want cleaned accessible. You don’t need to have everything put away in it’s proper place if you don’t have time for all that, but getting the clutter on your counter into a pile, or even just making sure you don’t have clothes strewn around your bedroom will allow your pro to do their job really well.
- Be consistent. A one-time cleaning is nice and all, but having someone come on the reg doesn’t just mean your home is being cleaned more often — it’ll also help you stay a little more accountable, if you’re anything like me.
Another cool thing to note is that, yes, you can book your pros to come whenever it’s convenient, but Handy is a subscription service, so you can decide up front whether you want someone to come weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Imagine how great it would be to know that someone is coming on the reg to help you keep your ship in order!
I can live happily without lots of things — lattes, pedicures, nice purses — but man, knowing what a difference it makes to have someone help with a chore I find so onerous makes it hard to imagine going without. Do you feel the same way about keeping house? If not, is there a task that, if you could find an affordable way to do it, you’d outsource in a second? —Kristen
Update: The folks at Handy are extending a special offer to our readers. For a limited time follow this link to get a special offer on a cleaning plan!