The holidays were just us this year - me and Charles. No relatives, no neighbors, no guests, no one. So then how did the house turn into a world-class mess?

Here's how: when folks come over, I'm forced to clean. No visitors, no cleaning. Over the past months and months and months with the two of us stuck inside, I've done my best to keep things tidy. But as this dusty and disorganized year drew to a close, I was getting by with a lick and a promise - tossing clutter in closets just to clear the rooms. Dust bunnies romped through the hallways. The top of the stove looked like an explosion in a spaghetti house. I was absolutely overwhelmed.

So, I made a decision - we're getting a cleaning plan. We're scrubbing this house from top to bottom and keeping our house sparkling clean from here on out.

So I googled "most reliable name in housecleaning" and up popped Handy, an app you can use to book a professional cleaner. They connect you to cleaning professionals in your area. You can sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans, and scheduling is super flexible with booking availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. Plus, the app even lets you track a cleaning while it's in progress.

With the Handy app, you can leave special instructions and even add on extra services such as laundry, cleaning interior windows, inside fridges and stoves, and even deep cleanings!

This all sounded amazing but then I thought, who's doing the laundry and the cleaning? Are Handy's cleaners reliable?

Then I learned Handy does a background check and vets each of the Cleaning Pros booked through their app. You can also read reviews and see a Pro's rating before you book. And with a Handy plan, you can even request the same Pro if there's someone you really like. A pro booked through Handy can become a steady and welcome part of the household routine.

And this being the era we live in, I was pleased and relieved to learn that Handy prioritizes the health and safety of the professionals and customers who use their platform by implementing the Handy Safety Standard. Not only are Pros required to wear face coverings during bookings, but they must also complete daily in-app checkups to confirm they are in good health before they claim a booking.

Handy also shares the CDC's health and safety guidelines and best practices to all customers and professionals and even provides guidance on the use of EPA-approved cleaning products.

This all made me feel more confident about trying Handy, but I was still a tad sticker-shy - how much would all this cost?

I was thrilled to see that Handy's cleaning prices are truly affordable for us. And I especially appreciate how transparent they are. They give you a fixed, upfront price before you book so there's no negotiating and you don't have to deal with cash. They make the whole process as clear, open, and worry-free as possible. And it looks super easy to set up an appointment and you can even reschedule if things change.

So, to start the New Year off right, I'm signing up for a cleaning plan with Handy. Since none of us is going anywhere anytime soon, I'm thinking a deep-deep-deep cleaning and a weekly plan would be a good start. Toys and books and laundry and papers and pizza boxes pile up mighty quickly these days.

I'm just glad we don't have any pets - dust bunnies don't count! But I bet Handy could handle that if we needed them to.

With Handy to rescue, I'm looking forward to a clean start for 2021.

Update: Handy is offering a limited time discount for our readers! Follow this link today to get a special offer on your first time cleaning plan.

Over the last few months, I've gotten so lazy when it comes to housework. I used to always be on top of it, but lately, it's taken a back seat. Partially because I was just so overwhelmed with everything that's going on, and partially because I haven't been having any visitors over.

I was so delighted to hear my brother and his girlfriend wanted to come home for the holidays, so I instantly offered up my spare room. Then I remembered my spare bedroom has become a dumping ground for all of my clutter.

Once I thought about all the cleaning and tidying that my house needs, I almost began to dread their visit. Getting it back into shape isn't a one-man job. I needed to get help! Plus, while my brother is here, I'm going to be busy cooking the whole time. My pumpkin pie is a family tradition!

After deciding to look into getting a cleaning professional, I remembered my friend mentioning she got one recently, so I called her to ask. She told me she uses a site called Handy to book her cleaning services. She said it's super convenient, you can sign up for a Handy cleaning plan on your own schedule, and sometimes you can even book a cleaning Pro as soon as the next day.

I was still unsure of whether or not a cleaning service was the right thing to do. I don't know how I feel about letting someone new into my home at the moment. But I can't lie, having someone regularly come over to help me stay on top of the housework sounded like a dream, so I decided to check out their site anyway.

On the Handy site, I read that they use ID verification technology and a background screening that vets all cleaning professionals booked through Handy. They also have the Handy Safety Standard, which includes a number of steps to help foster a safe environment for the customers and cleaning professionals who use Handy.

Some of these steps include all professionals being provided face coverings that they may wear to bookings and professionals completing daily in-app check-ups confirming that they are not experiencing any symptoms before they may claim bookings. In addition, Handy is providing the CDC's health and safety guidelines to professionals as well as guidance on using EPA-approved cleaning products.

As well as these steps, if any issues arise during a booking, Handy has a 24/7 customer service team that will answer your questions or concerns at any hour of the day. Not to mention, they have the Handy Happiness Guarantee which means if you aren't happy with the service you received they will work to make it right.

After reading all of this, I felt a lot better about using Handy. So after some consideration, I've decided to sign up for a Handy plan. Booking through the Handy site is great because you can view ratings and read reviews from previous Handy customers, and then request the cleaner who's best for you. Or, if you don't want to choose, Handy can connect you with an available Pro who is ready to take on your job. You can even give your cleaning Pro instructions beforehand, so they know what areas of your home to focus on.

I'm happy that the bedrooms and living areas in my house are going to be taken care of, and you can also book extra services like inside the fridge, cabinet, and oven; interior window washing; and laundry, which I can add to my plan later.

Since I discovered Handy, a weight has been lifted. Knowing that the Pros will be helping me get my house back into shape has taken so much pressure off. Handys cleaning plan allows you to have someone come on whatever schedule works for you, and I'm looking forward to using Handy for a long time.

The holidays are always stressful, and this year they're going to be a little bit different than other years. But thanks to my Handy cleaning plan, I have one less thing to worry about this holiday season.

Update: Handy's Black Friday sale is happening now! For a limited time follow this link to get a special offer on a cleaning plan!

Valid only for new customers who book and pay through the Handy platform. Offer expires 12/1/2020. Customer must sign up for a minimum term cleaning plan that will be charged on a recurring basis. Early plan cancellation will result in a $99 fee. Bookings can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance. Price excludes Handy's Trust & Support fee and is only valid for the first 3 hours booked; additional services and time are extra. Offer cannot be applied retroactively or combined with other offer(s). Visit for full terms.