Feeling Fancy {and a giveaway}

Update! So, um it took a few extra days to get these results but here they are!

Number 2! Jeff McClure, you win! Send me an email {kelli at studiokgm dot com} with your information and I will get it to Michael at Molly Maid and get you set up and you won't have to clean your bathroom! Woo Hoo!

Can I tell you a long story? A long story that I promise is going somewhere? And you'll stick around to the end?
I hope so.
I met Michael Silva-Nash because he needed a cake. He had ordered one from somewhere else and wasn't happy with it. He was referred to me from Lisa Fisher- someone that follows me on twitter. (She also has a day job on the radio. I doubt she leads with 'I follow Kelli Marks on twitter.' Just a guess.) Anyway, Michael loved the cake and has since ordered several more from me. I think I've made a cake for every member of his family since October.
It just so happens that Michael's mom owns Molly Maid. When I opened the bakery, I did my my blogger open house and Michael saw that and thought it was cool. So he decided that he wanted to have a handful of bloggers write about what it's like to have Molly Maid clean their house. (obviously, I volunteered. I mean, come on, the house has been trashed since the 4,400 cookie incident late last year.)
So Monday two ladies came to my house. I walked through with them and basically showed them around. I didn't have anything in particular that I needed them to do, you know, just clean. I've never in my life had a house keeper or cleaner. Growing up, we barely cleaned ourselves, more less had someone come in and do it. (probably explains the condition of my house).
Once they assessed everything, they got to work. I asked Michael what the protocol was, because I had no idea what to expect. He said that they clean every house top to bottom, left to right. They start with any cobwebs on the ceiling, move to ceiling fans, tops of door frames, and furniture and work their way down. They start on the left side of the house and move across, working from room to room.
I was home for the entire FIVE hours it took for them to clean my house. According to Michael, the first clean is the toughest. Because of this, it will cost more. But they have to bring the house back up to standard, from there, it's just a matter of maintaining it.
I tried to stay out of the way, in the office for most of the time, but periodically I would go into the kitchen or move the dogs to other parts of the house (keeping them out of the way was a challenge. They want to bark at everything!) Things I personally saw them doing:

  • Wiping down the dining room table and chairs (each one, front and back, top to bottom)
  • Cleaning the cabinets in the kitchen
  • Windows (including the window sills, sorry about all the dog hair)
  • Cleaning all the mirrors in the dining room. (Um, there's like 25 of them)
  • Wiped down all the doors (front and back)
Things I know they did because I checked or noticed after they left:
  • Cleaned the tops of the door frames
  • Vacuumed the couch, including under the cushions (which, I'm certain had to be gross)
  • Vacuumed the pool table
  • Mopped in the pantry. (Really? I don't think we've ever mopped in there)
  • Cleaned the laundry room (Again, really? It's a room for cleaning, we don't clean it)
  • They moved everything to dust. I know because everything is not quite where it belongs. 
  • They took out all the trash. Also, I think they took it with them! Because I was on the back deck toward the end and never saw them come outside. I could be mistaken, but wow!
Things Michael told me that I thought were interesting:
  • They test their products before using them in your home. 
  • Currently, he said they're testing out a new glass cleaner that - get this- REPELS fingerprints on glass for several days. So basically it's like they're still cleaning even after they're gone. And, it's a totally green product. 
  • They keep it old school. They don't cut corners, no swiffers or things like that. Just rags, soap and good old fashioned elbow grease. 
  • When they do a cleaning, they do a good deep cleaning every time. Apparently some companies when hired on a weekly basis will trade off and do some parts one week and other parts the next week, Molly Maid doesn't do that. They clean everything, every time. 
Brad was skeptical, since he does all the cleaning. But to see him walk around and say things like, "Look at the shower door!" Or "They vacuumed in the closet!" I think he ultimately approved. He even asked "So how much is this, maybe we can have it done a couple times a year." Which, is what I was thinking. Right now, with the bakery, we just aren't home enough to mess the place up all that much. But, it's really nice to have someone come in and set you on the right path periodically. Whether it's seasonally or once a month.

I think Brad was most impressed with how clean the house smelled. Odd right? But it does have a nice, clean smell - not chemically, just clean. Which is a feat in itself with how much garlic I cook with. Overall it was a really awesome experience. But, I have to say, if you opt to have your house cleaned, I would recommend not being there. Yep. Let strangers in your house unattended. Here's my reasoning: 
I felt in the way. They were trying to work. Even though it's my house, I felt like the outcast. Also, THEY'RE TRYING TO WORK. I was definitely in the way. For all I know, they like to jam some tunes and rock out. Couldn't do that with me there. (I jam tunes at the bakery way too much. I'm afraid to ask my neighbors if they can hear it for fear of finding out they can.) Also, Michael told me how nice it is for him to come home and see that his mom has sent a team over to his house as a surprise. I mean, seeing the house now is great, but I know what the in between looked like, with the dust all over the floor and basically being aware of my own filth. I'd like to skip that and just go straight to the clean. So that's what I would recommend. But that's just me.
Brad and I are working to keep it clean, it looks so nice, I just hate to ruin all their hard work.
So what do you get for reading this long post? How about a chance to win a $100 gift certificate? Yep, that's right. The awesome people at Molly Maid are letting me give one of my readers a gift certificate! All I need you to do is leave me a comment telling me what cleaning chore you hate doing the most. On Friday, I will do a random drawing and announce the winner. Easy peasy.

Disclaimer: In order to win, you must live in the central Arkansas area. I received a free house cleaning in exchange for this post. But all the opinions are my own.