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.
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.
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.