I discovered Handy through a series of New York subway ads—one depicting an attractive woman in a Handy logo-emblazoned polo, wiping a table; another, a male model wearing a Handy T-shirt, assembling a difficult piece of wooden furniture (from IKEA, most likely).
“Book trusted cleaners and handymen at the push of a button,” it claimed. I was curious if it was that easy. I was less curious about whether the independent contractors they used did in fact look like they might also appear in a handyman porn.
I decided to test out the service after a birthday celebration. Cleaning up following a party sucks—especially when it’s your birthday. So I downloaded the app five days before the party, then entered my location, apartment size, and a time and date. The app showed there was peak pricing at that time, so I chose another hour. That put me at $104 for a three-hour cleaning of two bedrooms and one bathroom. This was about 40% more than I have paid for random cleaners before, but with Handy I had the option to make a regularly scheduled cleaning and get a discount (78% off for once a week, 73% for every two weeks, 67% for every four weeks). So if I scheduled a cleaning every two weeks, that would only be $28 per visit. The app then gave me the option for extras—cabinets, fridge, oven, laundry or interior windows. Sure. My windows were pretty gross, and the oven could always use a good scrubbing. Why not? For me, those perks added an extra half hour each and $26 each.
Booked. The app informed me that my cleaner, named Miracle, would be visiting me the morning after my soiree. I was tempted to encourage party guests to trash the apartment. “Sure just mash those chips into the rug. I’m not cleaning it.” But I didn’t want to be a complete jerk to Miracle. I even tidied up a little.
I blearily greeted Miracle the next morning, three minutes before she was scheduled to arrive. She was wearing a Handy T-shirt and had all the necessary equipment (I was once surprised that a cleaner expected me to have brooms, mops and vacuums). As promised, she was friendly and experienced. She asked a few questions about the apartment and got to work. When she left, I noticed a few spots I wish she had hit, but for the most part did a wonderful job. She even suggested I pick up a bottle of an industrial-strength cleaner called Bar Keepers Friend to use on the stove in the future. (Side note: there’s an amazing industrial-strength cleaner called Bar Keepers Friend that’s apparently been around since 1882 and I somehow didn’t already know this.) Then she was off—no awkward money exchange or tip calculations.
I recommend you try Handy if you live in one of the nearly 30 cities that have it and if you don’t already have a favorite, trusted cleaner or repair person. I would use this service regularly if I was the kind of person who used a cleaning service regularly, and not just when I have a party or things have just gotten that bad. You’re rewarded for regular use, and Handy claims all their professionals are “experienced, friendly, background-checked, and insured, ” so the peace of mind is worth whatever small extra price you might pay if you don’t do the discounted plan. I wasn’t concerned leaving Miracle alone in my apartment because I knew I could get ahold of her through Handy if something went missing while she was there—not that she gave me any reason to suspect that. In fact, I’d probably book Miracle again, which Handy gives me the option to do. Maybe she’ll even share some more of her cleaning hacks with me.
How much you need this: 6.7 out of 10