Last-minute cleaning needs? There’s an app for that

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Consider the following (strictly hypothetical) scenario:

Your parents call and ask if they can crash at your place the next night before catching an early flight. You live relatively close to the airport; they do not. And: "It would be great to see you." And: "We’ll bring dinner." Your parents think restaurants in the city are overpriced, but they love to bring dinner. All you have to do is provide the dishes.

Alas, you have a hellish workweek ahead, and your place looks like a tornado blew through: dirty floors, messy bathroom, no clean sheets for the guest room, definitely no clean forks or spoons. (You ate your yogurt this morning with a butter knife.) Did I mention the garbage situation is looking very "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout"? It must be dealt with, but you’ve no time to deal.

Do you:

A) Call mom and dad back, and tell them there’s no vacancy ("Try the Hampton Inn");

B) Say, "Sure, you can stay with me," then pray for Mary Poppins to drop from the sky and put her magical cleaning skills to task;

C) Run home and cordon off certain rooms in your apartment with police tape where the ‘rents aren’t allowed to tread (everywhere);

D) None of the above?

The answer, in this purely imaginary scenario, is D) None of the above, because you recently learned of E), an app called Handy (www.handy.com

This particular cleaning —a three-hour home clean for $57 — is scheduled for the morning before mom and dad arrive. You threw in an inside-fridge cleaning for $6, because you haven’t done that in … a while. After it’s over, you’ll rate your cleaner and decide if you want to make this a regular thing — weekly, biweekly or monthly — at a reduced hourly rate. The app is also handy for pre-party, post-party, before an open house or after moving out. But especially those last-minute parental drop-ins. Especially those.