By Kelly Hines

I’m kind of a weirdo. That’s what my husband calls it, anyway. I like to think of myself as ‘particular’. I like things done a certain way, in a certain order, to certain specifications. To that end, I’ve never given myself one of the most coveted gifts a busy mom could ask for – a professional house cleaning.

“I’d be living in squalor if it weren’t for my housekeeper,” says my friend Melanie. Now, I consider myself an above average housekeeper, so I don’t think I’m nearing squalor like levels. But I do have to admit that it is a rare occasion when everything in the house is clean at once. The downstairs might get cleaned on Monday, the upstairs on Wednesday, one bathroom on Thursday, another on Tuesday. If it does all get done at once – like right before we have out of town company – it takes me an entire day to do it.

“Just give it a try,” says Melanie, sliding a business card across the table. The card is for Tina at TL Cleaning. “She’s my fairy godmother,” Melanie winks. With serious skepticism, I take the card and promise to call.

Three days later, a neat woman with a clipboard shows up at my house. It’s Tina, and she promises to make the consultation painless. Of course I’ve cleaned a little – the five year old’s underwear are up off the floor and the breakfast dishes are washed – but I’ve tried not to go overboard. I want her to see the house in it’s natural state. We walk around the house while Tina takes notes. She’s friendly and open, and takes my questions in stride.

“I’ve never done this before,” I tell her. She puts me at ease with her answers, and ensures me not only of their abilities, but of their experience. TL Cleaning has been in business for seven years, and all team members are bonded and insured. The same team members will clean a home each time, providing consistency. If I prefer they vacuum the playroom in a certain direction, they’ll do that. (OK, I said I was particular – but I’m not THAT particular!) Tina goes over everything, from the time they arrive until the time they’re done. There’s a comprehensive list of what goes into a general cleaning, and she gives me the option to add special services like window cleaning. In case I forget what’s covered, there’s a great list on the TL Cleaning website that I can refer to. I’m worried about my little dog, but she’s even got him covered!

Here’s where I admit to a little subterfuge. The week before my scheduled cleaning, I skip my traditional dust-vacuum-mop routine. I ignore the hair tumbleweeds in the teenagers’ bathroom. The nine year old draws smiley faces in the piano dust, and I leave them. Will TL Cleaning be up to the challenge of a pound of bacon grease on the stovetop? We’re about to find out.

When the big day arrives, Tina gives me a time window of when they’ll arrive. She gives me the option of being at home, or leaving. Because I know I would make them completely insane (“Here, let me help you!”), I opt to leave. A few hours later, I pull into the garage, take a deep breath, and walk into the house. The first thing I notice is that my house smells FANTASTIC. It’s not chemically, just clean, probably because TL Cleaning uses non-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning products from Eco-Concepts. This was one of the things that appealed to me the most about TL Cleaning. I have pets and small children, both of whom are known to lick things they shouldn’t. Like the floor.

Then I start my white glove inspection. Bacon grease on the stovetop? Gone. Dust bunnies on the baseboards? Vanished. Dust…anywhere? Nary a speck. They’ve even cleaned in places I didn’t think about, like the inside of the microwave. Every time I go into a room, I am surprised and delighted. And then, all too soon, it is time for the children to come home.

“Don’t touch anything!” I yell as they come through the door. They run from room to room to see what magic TL Cleaning has performed. My nine year old runs into the kitchen, breathless. “They arranged my stuffed animals! It’s just like DISNEY!” It hits me – having my house professionally cleaned is the grown up equivalent of going to Disney World. It is thrilling and exciting and significantly less expensive.

Here’s the best part of the whole experience, and one I didn’t foresee: I didn’t clean house all weekend. I didn’t have to dust or vacuum or scrub the shower. We had friends over and I didn’t have to do anything to prepare. I spent an entire weekend doing what I wanted to do – and that was invaluable.

TL Cleaning offers a deep cleaning service, and I can’t wait to try it out. Blinds and baseboards are my arch nemesis, and something I never seem to get to. Now that I’m familiar with the quality of work and comfortable with the level of service TL Cleaning provides, I won’t hesitate to use them again, and recommend them to friends. Thank you to Tina and TL Cleaning for making my first experience with professional house cleaning so fantastic!

To find out more about TL Cleaning and schedule your free in home estimate, visit their website at or contact Tina Plummer at (336)391-0049 or email her at

Sponsored by TL Cleaning