Could it be Magic? No, darling, it’s just the cleaners.

I sometimes joke that after the divorce, I missed my cleaner more than my ex.

Ah, who am I kidding? It’s not even a joke.

My total lack of domestic credentials were firmly established when I visited my brother with a three-year-old Flea, to find him ironing. “Uncle Jim,” said Flea, in tones of awe and wonder. “What is THAT?”

Trying to fit cleaning in with working freelance, being a single parent, blogging and everything else is the bane of my life. I try to keep on top of it, but realistically, I only do the bare minimum.

So it felt a bit like Christmas when Merry Maids offered to come and do a complete Spring clean of my house. Yes, I know it’s September. I don’t care. It’s someone else cleaning my house!

Apparently, this would involve a team of cleaners doing a deep clean of my entire house, with every room cleaned top (light fittings cleaned) to bottom (all furniture pulled out and cleaned behind).

It didn't take me long to think about it, I've gotta be honest.

So one morning this week, I opened my front door to find four cheery ladies branding buckets and mops and all their own cleaning products. After asking if it was okay for them to have a cup of tea on their break, I left them to it.

When I got home six hours later, my house was gleaming. Not even just gleaming – it was immaculate.

Clean House!

The wooden floors had all been cleaned, carpets vacuumed and surfaces dusted and polished. All the toys on Flea's bedroom floor were tidied into baskets. Even Black Bob, our Playmobil pirate, had been dusted and had his sword wiped down. The windows had no grime, and the bathrooms were sparkling. The kitchen looked like new, and the sink was squeaky clean.

But this wasn’t just your ordinary clean. Merry Maids bravely delved into areas that, frankly, haven't seen the light of day since we moved in, cleaning behind appliances and underneath furniture. I keep finding little things in the house that have been cleaned, tidied and organised. Like I put something in the bin this morning to find the inside of the bin has been washed. Shamefully, I almost NEVER do that. Everything on the bathroom cabinet has been removed, cleaned and put back neatly. The sofa cushions are artistically arranged and there are no crumbs or dog hairs underneath the seat cushions, either.

The cleaners even took out everything that was under my bed (spare duvets, shoes, boots, some more shoes, suitcases, the usual detritus) and dusted it, before putting it back in a neat and orderly fashion. I'm in OCD heaven.

Flea couldn’t get over it. “Is it magic, Mummy?” she asked, probably thinking there had been some kind of elves and shoemakers activity going on while she was at school.

But nothing, friends, nothing can top this.

Merry Maids

The loo roll has been folded into a little point and it has a sticker on it.

It might be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

Merry Maids offers cleaning services nationwide, and prices vary from area to area. In my local area, weekly cleans start at £45 for a small property and £195 for a Spring Clean. For a house like mine (a period three/four bed with two bathrooms) a full Spring Clean would cost approximately £300.

Also, if you can spare a few minutes to take part in a short cleaning survey at the Merry Maids website, you'll be entered into a draw to win a whole year's free cleaning from Merry Maids.

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

35 Comments

  1. Heather - Notes From Lapland
    1st October 2010 / 1:09 pm

    Wow. just wow. It’s the things fairy tales are made of.

  2. 1st October 2010 / 12:48 pm

    It sounds like perfect heaven and I already have a cleaner. Now I want a whole team of cleaners with magic stickers and my usual cleaner can just come for a cup of tea.

  3. 1st October 2010 / 12:50 pm

    You lucky duck!! A whole years free cleaning?? I’m off!!

  4. 1st October 2010 / 1:04 pm

    I am so glad you had a good experience with them. I used Merry Maids in Dundee and they were awful. They broke things, didn’t put stuff back where they found it, left things on hot radiators – well there is a whole catalogue. I eventually changed companies.

  5. 1st October 2010 / 1:46 pm

    Fab! Not so sure I could cope with them poking into all my nooks and crannies though ! ooh! The shame !

  6. 1st October 2010 / 2:24 pm

    Sally – really pleased to hear that you were delighted with your clean.
    Dawn – just to let you know that there is no Merry Maids business in Dundee although we are aware that there is a business operating as Merry Maid (no “s” on the end) in that area. All Merry Maids domestic cleaning businesses operate to a strict professional standard as Sally has just had the pleasure of experiencing. More info and details of your nearest official Merry Maids business can be found at http://www.merrymaids.co.uk. Kind Regards, Hannah (Merry Maids Marketing).

  7. 1st October 2010 / 2:34 pm

    Just so you know, I am consumed by jealousy right now. Not only because your house was already clean enough that it only took four people six hours, I would defy them to manage mine within six days.

  8. Emma
    1st October 2010 / 4:32 pm

    *heads straight over to survey*

  9. 1st October 2010 / 3:50 pm

    I think its fab – but tell me why have you a life size playmobil pirate and where did you get it? The girls would so want one each.

  10. Nikki
    1st October 2010 / 8:02 pm

    Sally – I want your job LOL, free trips and house cleans? Yes please!

  11. 1st October 2010 / 8:32 pm

    When I was married we had a cleaner too and she was like the magic fairy, she only cleaned for us 2 hours a week on a Thursday but coming home from work that day was so nice. I still see her around the village and I just want to ask her back, but on a volunteer basis 🙂 I’m sooo jealous, but I’m ashamed to say that my house would be too much of a challenge for the Merry Maids.

  12. 1st October 2010 / 9:36 pm

    Oh my….I’m speechless. It would be like having a fairy godmother. Heaven.

  13. 1st October 2010 / 9:42 pm

    Sounds absolutely fantastic. As others have said, though, it would surely take them more than six hours to do ours. But, wow, I didn’t get anything remotely like that with either of our cleaners – though they were both pretty good.

  14. 1st October 2010 / 10:46 pm

    Indeed, it quite cheered me up after a rotten week!

  15. 1st October 2010 / 10:46 pm

    Good luck but if you win, I’m claiming a share of the prize – say, pre-Christmas and mid-March?

  16. 1st October 2010 / 10:47 pm

    Ouch! See the comment below though, looks like you hired Merry Maid not Merry Maids (different company).

  17. 1st October 2010 / 10:47 pm

    It’s sad that it really felt like that, but it did.

  18. 1st October 2010 / 10:48 pm

    Pah, I figured given that I don’t have an S&M dungeon with men locked inside they’ve probably seen it all before.

  19. 1st October 2010 / 10:48 pm

    Thanks Hannah, it was a great job, I’d thoroughly recommend your Fylde team to my friends.

  20. 1st October 2010 / 10:50 pm

    I went to visit the Playmobil factory and Fun Park in Germany earlier this year and I spent so long hugging their life-size figures they took pity and shipped one to me after I got home. I *LOVE* Black Bob.

  21. 1st October 2010 / 10:51 pm

    Seriously, you say that, but you hadn’t seen my house pre-clean. Shocking.

  22. 1st October 2010 / 10:52 pm

    I think it’s like paying professional movers to do your packing when you sell your house – what takes you an hour seems to take them five seconds.

  23. Andy Merrett
    2nd October 2010 / 3:59 pm

    I wonder if any of the Merry Maids have a blog on the side 🙂

  24. 2nd October 2010 / 6:07 pm

    ok I hope so. I am pretty sure I made the cheques to Merry Maids. They have pulled out of the Dundee area now so did there used to be a franchise here? I apologise if I am unfairly tarring your company with poor workmanship.

  25. 2nd October 2010 / 9:16 pm

    Love it! A free spring clean. Bliss!
    Our decision to get a cleaner after Bub was born was one if our best decisions ever. Our mess was a major source of stress between us and this has solved that argument plus improved our enjoyment of our home immensely.

  26. 3rd October 2010 / 8:14 pm

    No problem at all Dawn. As I said, we have a strict professional standard that all of our franchises follow but if a customer did have some queries, our Customer Services team would get on to it straight away.
    (On a personal note, I’ve got our local team coming into my own house tomorrow and can’t wait….at 32 weeks pregnant, just the thought of pulling the vacuum out of the cupboard is enough to tire me out!)
    Hannah (Merry Maids Marketing)

  27. 3rd October 2010 / 8:16 pm

    I’m sure Nicky and her team will be really pleased to hear your comments. Thanx!
    Hannah (Merry Maids Marketing)

  28. Pants With Names
    4th October 2010 / 11:03 am

    36 weeks pregnant and I have finally faced up to reality that I can’t clean when I’m not pregnant, why do I think it is going to be any different when I am. So we had a cleaner come last week. I nearly kissed her when she left. My sink is white – I thought it was tea coloured. The tops of the skirting boards are also white – I thought they were dust coloured.
    So so so so so worth it to get a cleaner if you can. Life is just too short. Plus there is nothing more maddening than trying to hoover with a small child following you around turning it on and off and on and off and on and off.

  29. What did you do today Mama?
    4th October 2010 / 1:50 pm

    I’ve never rushed to do a survey so quickly! Is it sad that dreams are made of someone else immaculately cleaning your house??

  30. 4th October 2010 / 8:21 pm

    Finally. A use for all those leftover CBeebies Magazine “I’ve done it!” stickers…

  31. Frith
    5th October 2010 / 12:49 am

    At one point I was busy enough with my home business that I needed, and could justify the cost of, a house cleaner. One young (illegally immigrating?) Russian woman would come over and deep clean my house, twice a month. It took her about 3 hours, and I paid what I would make in an hour – I would have paid double, for the relief of coming home to find EVERYTHING done at once. The floors. The dusting. The shower. The loo. The cabinet fronts. The stove. The whole thing. For a day it would be immaculate. Then, legos, stuffed toys, male humans etc., would wreak their havoc. But for one day…it was lovely. I pine for those days!

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