Hands up who pretty much gave up on trying to keep their house clean and tidy over the summer holidays? I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not like my house was filthy, but tidying up & keeping everywhere clean when you have three kids at home for six weeks is like playing darts with spaghetti – it just feels completely pointless. I reached a point where I decided I was better off just trying to keep on top of it as best I could but trying not to worry about it till September when I would have the space and time to give everywhere a proper going over. I think possibly the biggest stroke of genius was booking the guys from Fantastic Services in for a full house clean the day after the kids went back to school and I would, without a shadow of a doubt, plan to do this again each September now!
Fantastic Services have done a full house clean for me before, in fact it was almost three years ago now but this meant I knew what to expect from the service and felt more prepared for having a team come in to clean my house for me. At the time of booking the service, you make your priorities for the clean clear – for me this is always the kitchen and bathrooms (we have two bathrooms and a downstairs toilet) but I did say this time that whilst they were my priorities, I wanted this to be as deeper clean as possible. As well as booking in a full house clean, we also booked to have the hall, stairs and landing carpet steam cleaned.
Fantastic Services sent two cleaners to my house and they brought all their own cleaning equipment with them so once I’d shown them around the house they set to work with one doing upstairs and one downstairs. Now as I’ve said, I’d pretty much given up on trying to keep the house straight over the holidays so they had their work cut out. I’d spent two days previously tidying the house prior to the booking – this isn’t to say I’d cleaned ahead of them coming, that would be pointless – but I had made sure that everywhere was as tidy as possible to allow the Fantastic Services team to do their job.
They were in my house for a total of six hours – so that’s 12 hours of focused cleaning – blitzing my house from top to bottom . . . I wasn’t aware of them stopping to take a break at any point! That’s 12 hours of my time that I’d basically been given back – and if we’re honest it’d have probably taken me even longer as I’d have got distracted and done other things along the way!
I won’t deny that whilst I was super excited to have cleaners in, both because it meant I didn’t have to do it myself and because I knew they’d do a better job than me – it did feel really very awkward to sit at my desk working all day whilst two strangers cleaned my house. And, whilst they were very friendly, they didn’t seem to speak much English so there was none of that usual ideal chit chat that would come along with having someone in to do jobs for you – I felt quite rude sitting there silently tapping away whilst they worked around me!
Once the team had finished, they took me round the house to check everything – which again feels a bit awkward and whilst I didn’t notice anything at the time that I wasn’t happy with, I think I’d have found myself being terribly British and saying “Yes, yes it’s lovely” rather than asking them to sort it out – of course this is ridiculous and completely my own issue as I’m sure they’d have been more than happy to sort out any problems. However, what I did find a little odd was that I’d already had a “check out” email from Fantastic Services saying the team and been through and asked me all these questions before they’d even finished their work – so I can only assume they had completed the check list and submitted it ahead of time.
Overall we were absolutely thrilled with the results of our full house clean – the bathrooms in particular were absolutely gleaming, I’ve genuinely never seen them so clean. The bedrooms were all super clean and tidy with the beds made and neat piles of things to put away though the shelf above our bed hadn’t been touched at all and I needed to dust this myself the following day.
After spending two hours concentrating on cleaning the kitchen, it looked very clean and tidy – the windows had been cleaned on the inside and even the filthy cooker hood had had a good going over (though this developed some odd water marks over the coming day which I needed to polish off). Anything sat on the surfaces – like the microwave, toaster or kettle had been moved and cleaned under. The dishwasher was emptied and rogue bits of washing up had been done and put away. If I’m being picky, there were still things that I could have gone in and cleaned, just niggly bits like the utensil jar needed washing but also the kitchen sink hadn’t been cleaned. I can only assume he had planned to go back and do that at the end when he had finished using it but then forgot. It only took me a matter of moments to give it a quick spray and wipe down.
All the mirrors in the house were polished and streak free – not something I ever manage to successfully achieve myself! However I was a little disappointed with the overall attention to detail when it came to dusting. We have a set of shelving in the living room that wasn’t touched, the dining room window sill wasn’t wiped down and the picture shelves in the living room and the unit in the dining room were only really given a cursory dusting – you could still run your finger over the surfaces and pick up muck. I ended up going round and whizzing over those surfaces again myself the following day. Of course dusting wasn’t set as a “priority” task at the start of the clean – the living room and dining room were not focus areas as such, but I still felt I shouldn’t need to go and clean over things myself.
Overall the vacuuming was super detailed but the subsequent mopping was a bit half-hearted – the living room floor looked streaky and I could still see marks where one of the kids had spilled some food the day before – again I whizzed over this myself and it was sorted within minutes.
We have laminate flooring throughout the downstairs which is infinitely practical with three young children but upstairs is fully carpeted. To this end we’re pretty strict about taking shoes off when you go upstairs. (If I’m honest I’d rather have a ‘no shoes in the house rule’ but Dave just isn’t down with that one! If anyone can convince him for me . . . ) Our carpet was fitted when we had the extension done so has been down about three years now I think – but we’ve never had it cleaned in that time. I remember reading somewhere that you should avoid cleaning new carpets for as long as possible but then read conflicting advice that said that wasn’t the case any more – either way, we have an awesome vacuum cleaner and that combined with the no shoes rule means that there’s no stains or marks anywhere and our carpets still look really clean. However I decided that with the hall, stairs and landing being the heaviest traffic area, it would do no harm to have Fantastic Services steam clean them for me.
The carpet was one of the last jobs to be done – which I guess makes sense in terms of not wanting people to walk around on it after it was done, but that did mean that it was still wet at the end of the day when the cleaners left and I had to keep the kids downstairs until bedtime when it had had longer to dry. The Fantastic Services team left me a pair of blue overshoes to pop on if I needed to go upstairs in the meantime. Overall I’m really pleased with the results of the steam clean, the carpet looks really clean, even in those hard to get to corners that can collect dust, though I was a surprised to find that rather than being left with a fresh smelling carpet, it seemed to just smell a little of damp dog. Perhaps this is a result of it not being able to dry fast enough with there being no windows in the hall way? Having never had a carpet clean before, I’m not sure if that’s normal or not!
I’d love to be able have a cleaner on a regular basis and it’s certainly something Dave and I are working towards but it is something of a financial commitment, however a one off house clean at the end of the summer holidays was probably one of the best ideas I’ve ever had and certainly something we’d look to organising again. Yes there were things that weren’t quite done to the standard I’d have liked but for the time that they were there, the Fantastic Services team did an amazing job of getting my house straight. The priorities I set were for my kitchen and bathrooms and I was thrilled with the work they did there. Everywhere is now really clean and keeping on top of that is so much more manageable now the kids are back at school!
If a one off house clean tickles your fancy (and why wouldn’t it?) pop on over to Fantastic Services to see if they are avaiable in your area and get it booked!
*Use referral code COLETTE for £10 off your first booking with Fantastic Services.
*We were provided with a complimentary full house clean and carpet steam clean as part of my Fantastic Services ambassador role. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links*