Happy Friday everyone! I’d like to introduce you to SweepSouth (if you’ve not already heard of them), a project that’s so much bigger and better than just us alone. SweepSouth is a cleaning service much like Uber. You reserve your housekeeper at short notice and allow the cleaning service to do their magic on your home.
UPDATE: 8th August 2016: SweepSouth is official an app! Find it on your local app store for faster, easier bookings for your cleaning requirements.
A Little Back History…
I’ve had SO many housekeepers in South Africa. It actually makes me quite sad to think about it. In Namibia we had one domestic worker for 28 years. She was part of our family and literally watched us grow up. And we were there when she had her children and they grew up too. When we moved, she moved with us (ok it was within 1 town, but still!). We had a lot of mutual trust and respect, and I’ve just not managed to find that relationship in South Africa.
In recent years, I had an amazing housekeeper. We became (I thought) good friends. I loved learning about life in the townships, if she and her children felt safe, what initiatives there were to help the community; I enjoyed getting REAL feedback from a women living in the townships, not the media version of everything.
We “worked together” for about 5 years until the fateful day when money started going missing. She acknowledged she had done something wrong by apologising to me, but what can you do? No person wants someone who steals from them in their home, be it a friend or employee. Needless to say, we had to end the relationship. Since then I have lost the will to have anyone in my home and we have continued with our housework ourselves.
Should I Try SweepSouth?
I was hesitant to try SweepSouth (even though it had caught my attention online), because I’m mistrusting of people having access to my home, all my personal and private things. I was also afraid to review SweepSouth as the company is owned by one of my best friend’s sisters! And I REALLY didn’t want the drama of having to deal with a situation if the service wasn’t good! So I thought I’d just leave it up to the universe. So when a PR company approached me, totally independently to my friendship, I knew the time was right and I couldn’t help but accept.
SweepSouth Cleaning Services
As mentioned, SweepSouth is all about providing domestic cleaning services to you. You’re able to book a housekeeper up until 1 day before (or more in advance if you’re that organised!) via the SweepSouth website. In my case, I booked a housekeeper the day before and received a confirmation e-mail that a lady would arrive at 8am.
The user journey starts with a few questions about your home including the number of rooms you’d like serviced as well as extra chores such as cleaning the inside of your fridge, or your external windows, etc.
SweepSouth cleverly offers to bring cleaning agents with them too. Things like Handy Andy, stain removers, that sort of thing. Home owners are expected to provide their own accessories though like mops, vacuum cleaners, etc. I had all of these things so I didn’t need the housekeeper to bring anything along.
Safety and Security
All SweepSouth housekeepers are background checked – that’s a lot more than most of us do with most domestic workers we’ve employed. I have never had a copy of my housekeeper’s ID neither have I had their address. I’ve 100% just trusted that they were good people! I felt it was embarrasing to ask for personal information, but now that I think about it, I probably should have. Why should housekeepers have access to LITERALLY all our private items, yet we don’t have their addresses?! I love that SweepSouth covers all of this so if you are still uncomfortable asking, rely on this service.
How SweepSouth Works
After I made my ‘appointment’ I was sent an e-mail with the details of my cleaning lady. Fine. A few hours later though, I was sent another mail with a new cleaning lady. Ok. A few hours later I was sent another e-mail with a third cleaning lady! This didn’t make me too happy. Off the back of my personal feelings, I’m already oversensitive about the topic. So I went to the website to read a bit more about how it worked and SweepSouth actually tried to pair cleaning ladies up with homes that are closest to them. This is to decrease travelling time and expenses. I think that’s a great idea. Why must someone who lives in Dunoon work in Tokai if there’s something in Mitchell’s Plein available? (For example.) So I didn’t do anything about it and just hoped for the best.
In the morning I opened the front door to Phini! She was a few minutes early, calm and professional. She introduced herself as Phini and shook my hand. I REALLY appreciated this! I often feel I have culture clashes with housekeepers and I really appreciated this simple but professional approach. I showed her around and she go to work, while I set off to work.
Half way through the day, I received a message from Mr John saying (basically), “Holy crap! This lady is doing an amazing job! She’s turning the flat upside down!” In a good way, of course. For my husband, an introvert’s introvert to actually pick up his phone and send a compliment! Well I’d have put money on pigs flying that day.
He even managed to snap a few pictures of the legend that is Phini!
Keen to give them a go? Use the Boring Cape Town Chick SweepSouth code to get R100 off your first clean!
A Job Well Done
I had asked for some laundry to be ironed as a part of my SweepSouth service. I find that’s the trickest when doing your own housekeeping. It’s easy to stick things in the washing machine and hang them fairly well, but ironing them and making them really presentable is always the bridge too far for me. So I requested some ironing done. Well Phini went above and beyond, motoring through our items like nobody’s business! Neatly folding and leaving them on our dining room benches, which suited me so I was happy to pack them away properly.
The Extra Touch
I feel that so many housekeepers are just housekeepers as they have no other employment. They don’t actually take pride in what they do and aren’t particularly good at it. I used to have a housekeeper in town that would fold my clothes while still damp and pack them away! So if you got home on a Friday night and wanted to get changed, everything would still be damn. SO random! But I really feel Phini went above and beyond. SMALL things like folding our blankies over the end of our couch, putting cheese into a tub so that it didn’t get all hard and crappy from being left out, putting the cleaning agents back neatly and she even cleared the top of the tumble dryer! I swear I haven’t seen that surface in 3 years!
I have to say that I am really impressed with SweepSouth. The website was extremely simple, intuitive and efficient. You can select housekeepers to come for a few hours or a whole day. You can get them in just for some laundry if you like! The attention to detail that was given in my home helped me build a little more confidence in the housekeeper industry. I want to feel like someone cares about my personal items and Phini (and SweepSouth) instilled this confidence in me.
The service isn’t cheap-cheap, but it’s not over the top expensive either. Their focus is on providing honest work for dignified pay. With the lack of morale and state of employment in South Africa at the moment, I’m ALL on board for this kind of service.
Congratulations to the SweepSouth team for ‘investing’ such a great service (it’s a wonder no one did it before!). They are currently working on a mobile app so that will be available in the future. If you’re stuck for help in the home, give SweepSouth a try. I’d love to hear your views so feel free to leave a comment below.
Now you can test SweepSouth for yourself! I have a 6 hour cleaning service up for grabs for those of you who live in the Mother City.
All you have to do to win this lovely service is:
- Like the Boring Cape Town Chick Facebook Page
- Like the SweepSouth Facebook Page
- Leave a comment on my Facebook post about SweepSouth telling me which chore you really need help with in your home.
- Please leave your e-mail address so I can mail you if you win.
Please be sure to read my competition T’s and C’s in the WIN tab above, they’re short and easy.
Good luck and thanks for reading 🙂