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 (

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.