Monday, October 12, 2015

You had me at hello ... (And win a free house clean!)

 My kitchen - AFTER a clean 

One of the fab things about blogging is that sometimes companies send you products to review.
Other bloggers are feted with things like chocolates, champagne, and invitations to weekends at posh holiday resorts.
Maid In Australia, however, seems to be destined to be forever opening hampers of healthy food products, cleaning aids, and air fresheners.
I guess it’s the fact that my blog is actually named Maid In Australia, and everyone assumes that either: A. I am a maid, or B. I have some kind of crazy desire for cleaning. (Not that there is anything wrong with that!)
The fact is, the name Maid In Australia is kind of a play on words.
I started this blog after my original blog Aussies In Auckland, about my family’s life across the ditch – originally started to keep our family and friends in touch with what we were up to in one fell swoop – gained a cult following in New Zealand.
With it came national media attention and invitations to events. Regular home deliveries of chocolates and flowers, and attendances at events like real-life Nights At The Museum or invitations to the zoo with the kids. It was like every day was Christmas.  
That came to an end when we moved back to Australia, but I’d already developed a massive addiction to fondness of blogging, and I wanted to continue. But what would I blog about? Our lives in Australia? Well, why the bloody hell not? 
And like magic, the title just came to me.
I’m a travel writer. I was made in Australia.
The name reflects my love of travel, particularly in my own country. I write a lot about my adventures in Australia and beyond.
There was a fair bit of irony there too. With two kids and several pets , I felt quite a lot like a maid when I started this blog, for I was forever running after everyone else and putting myself last. And as I'm single, I'm in serious danger of becoming an Old Maid. 
Finally, the name’s a bit of an in-joke, because I hate housework, and I somehow missed out when the genes were being handed out for tidying and decorating. In fact, I was once given books on cleaning and tidying for Christmas! (Hints anyone?)
But I’m the first to admit, I need all the help I can get in that department.
One of the best gifts I ever received was after having my second child. My then in-laws gave my then husband and I several weeks of cleaning after our little angel came home.
I was working full-time, and with a toddler on the go as well, it was a blessing to have a real-life domestic goddess arrive once a week to do all the big jobs, like the kitchen, bathroom and floors.

Be honest - who doesn't love a clean bathroom, when they haven't had to do it themselves? 

And those long hallways don't mop themselves ... (And sadly, Everybody Loves Lucy doesn't seem keen to help!)

Since then, whenever I’ve been lucky enough to have loads of work on, I’ve invested in my own cleaner.
That way, I’m not only paying my own good fortune forward and giving someone else some work, but instead of spending a day or so of cleaning and doing a half-arsed job (and paying for it later, because my arthritis means housework is actually bad for me – true story), a professional cleaner can get through my chores and do a great job in a few hours. Everyone wins.
So I was delighted when HomeHello contacted me to offer one of YOU, my lovely followers, a free three-hour clean at your home.
What I love is that HomeHello was set up by a group of students at the University of New South Wales, to make it easier to book home cleaning services in Australia.
Since kicking off their start-up in 2014, it has turned from an idea into a fully-fledged, professional business. The team has cleaned hundreds of Sydney and Melbourne homes, and there are plans to expand to other cities and states as soon as they can. (Sadly, they haven’t reached the South Burnett yet, but I live in hope…)
All their cleaners have police checks, are insured, have been individually screened and trialled, and are regularly checked for quality assurance purposes.
Plus, there is a list of things cleaning involves, so you know exactly what you are getting for your money. Certain things, like end of lease cleans, are excluded, but most cleaning like mopping, vacumming and making beds are included. You can add on extras like fridge and oven cleans as well.
There are no contracts, and you can book one-off or regular cleans, from $25 an hour.
Booking is quick, safe, and easy. You simply enter a few details into the website, and before you know it, a qualified cleaner will be making your home shimmer while you relax, catch up on work, spend time with your partner or kids, or do whatever the hell you like with your free time.
While I haven’t been able to use the service myself (because it’s not available here), I do know of several very happy customers who swear by HomeHello.
To enter to win a free three-hour clean, simply comment below on what you would do with your free time while someone else makes your home sparkle.
There is a catch: The clean is only available at homes in Melbourne or Sydney.

Entries close at 5 pm AEST, on Wednesday 21, 2015. 

If HomeHello was available here, I think I'd spend my free time right here ... after clean bedding had been put on of course! 


Anna mum of one said...

I would love to win this for my daughter then she could take me out for lunch with her free time!

Char said...

I have a cleaning lady too. Best decision I ever made. It stops me from getting so cranky after I've cleaned and it's all getting uncleaned behind me.

In The Good Books Blog said...

I'd go out to the cinemas with my two sisters, Gold Class style, because I've only ever been once and it was so long ago I've forgotten the experience! A few hours of relaxation with two of my favourite people, and yummy food and drink, whilst my house is being cleaned?! Somebody pinch me!

~DrEaMeR~ said...

With the cleaning done, I will be able to spend more time with my son and my husband, playing games and doing more reading too!

Kirsty @ My Home Truths said...

I love how you explained your blog name - I'm always intrigued by how bloggers come up with their names. Yes, I'm a little strange like that!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

This is a great prize! We totally need a cleaner here. I spend half my time trying to tidy up after my messy husband.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you liked the explanation of my blog name Kirsty - people are always wondering about that one! And I'm loving all your ideas of taking some time off. I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys a break from cleaning!

Unknown said...

I would love my house cleaned. Sadly I live in Perth, so these no chance for this prize for me.

Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid said...

I love the story of how your blog got it's name. We had a cleaner until I took a break from work and now I do it myself. It's quite a novelty (for now anyway!) but the cleaner is on standby for when I go back to work. Having a cleaner can be a game changer!

Grace said...

Getting house cleaning help is the best decision I've made since becoming a mum. Every Tuesday our place is absolutely spotless and even if that state is momentarily, makes me feel so happy!

Nagi@RecipeTinEats said...

I love the story behind your blog's name! I agree with you, I'd love to have a domestic goddess sweep through my own even for just once a week. Things can get pretty busy over here too!

Lisa said...

really its lovely story ............thanks