Most of you know I have had a very rough few weeks. With Miss C being sick and then me being sick and then the huge backlog of work that results from being sick, plus the endless public holidays – these are NOT welcome when you run your own businesses – and C’s bizarre behaviour of late. I am feeling frazzled. A couple of weeks ago, I was having a particularly awful week and then I got the opportunity to try a new service called SweepSouth. You guys, I got a magic cleaning fairy that transformed the chaos of my house from having a sick toddler at home into one of those TV screen houses in 4 hours! And I booked it 2 days before.
With my well-known record for loving all things that don’t require me to speak to another human other than online, I love the idea of the SweepSouth service. It is all done online. ALL of it. You log onto the website from your phone, tablet or computer; choose your date (which can be tomorrow!!!!), a professional background checked insured cleaner shows up on your doorstep and voila – clean shiny house.
You’ll note I highlighted the “tomorrow” bit. If any of you have ever tried to find somebody to clean your house on short notice, you will get why that is such an impressive thing. They also provide cleaners on public holidays and over the holiday season – am I the only person who generally just lets the dust bunnies thrive over the holidays rather than try find somebody trustworthy through desperate online pleas? Apparently not. SweepSouth literally came out of that exact scenario.
Husband and wife Alen Ribic and Aisha R. Pandor couldn’t find a part-time cleaner over the holidays in December 2013. So, instead of collecting dust bunnies, they decided to create a business that would let you find somebody you could trust, at short notice, from your phone. Maybe it’s because Aisha was one of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012, who has won an SA Women in Science Award and is a former molecular geneticist, with a passion for process engineering, science and technology. Or maybe it’s because Alen is a software engineer, tech entrepreneur and education activist who is passionate about solving real-life problems through maths and computer science. Whatever the reason, we are eternally grateful that this team did more than count their dust bunnies.
The website is beautiful, full of images of huge light spaces you wish your house had. As you scroll down, you almost believe that once they have been to your house it will look like that. The site is also incredibly easy to navigate and answers all your questions without you having to leave the front page – which I personally love.
They only charge R38 an hour – for real! And you can customise your clean to your exact needs. It lays out everything included in a basic clean and how long it will take, and then you can simply click on additional items you need, and the time and therefore cost updates in front of your eyes. With as little as a 24-hour booking time, if you don’t have time to run out and buy cleaning supplies, you can also select the option for them to bring what is needed for the clean for only R40 extra. No cash changes hands, you pay online once your clean has been completed to your satisfaction.
Every cleaner is experienced and has had a full background check. And then on top of that, they are insured by SweepSouth, so you can feel 100% safe whether you are home while they clean or you let them in before heading off to the office, or just out for a quiet coffee and me-time. An added touch that really worked for me, was that they upload information of the cleaner coming to your home to your account. This means you can see a recent photo of them, know their name and read a little more about them, as well as having their contact number. I loved this.
The day we booked was the first day of the epic train delays Cape Town has been experiencing of late. Our cleaning fairy, Memory (who was sweet and amazingly thorough and quick), was due to arrive by 08h15 latest, before we head out to drop C at school. At 06h51 I received a text from SweepSouth support letting me know that there were issues with Metrorail and that our cleaner might be late.
Charly happened to be sick that day, so the delay didn’t affect me. BUT, had I needed to leave, I already had Memory’s cell number, so I could have called or texted her to let her know I was popping out and when I would be back. And if I had needed to go into the office, I had plenty of time to let them know I might be slightly delayed. Convenience and information is so key to my existence, and that of many other moms I would imagine.
Anyway, Memory came, she managed to clean the entire house in literally half the time that my regular cleaning lady does and more thoroughly and for far less money. And with a miserable toddler reigning chaos everywhere she went.
When I popped onto the site again before doing this write up, I noticed they had an added feature on the booking form. They have added a drop down with your previous cleaners’ information, so you can choose to use the same person again. Once you select them, you can also see whether they are available when you are looking for somebody; so you can choose whether to wait for them to be available (which I likely will), or you can let SweepSouth select a new cleaner for you.
Such a simple concept and done so very well. For now, you can only find SweepSouth in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Centurion; but I strongly suspect they will be everywhere any day now.
Sending all the love xx