Fantastic Services – can money really buy happiness?

I mean.. it can buy cookies and that’s kind of the same thing, right!? Ok no seriously..

They say money can’t buy happiness, but according to scientists it depends what you spend it on.* This particular topic has been one that I’ve frequently discussed with friends and family, as I personally have many opinions that sit on both sides of this no doubt frequently debated subject. As someone who personally has very little desire to either buy or own material things, I’ve never particularly enjoyed spending money on myself, with the satisfaction of buying gifts or experiences for friends and family providing me with far greater happiness than anything I could ever buy for myself (yes, cake and cookies included!). New research suggests that spending money on time-saving services is linked to greater life satisfaction though, revealing a previously unexamined route from wealth to happiness – spending money to buy free time.

I’d been toying with the idea of getting a cleaner for a while. To me it’s always been an alien concept – in my mind having a cleaner was synonymous with wealth, luxury and 27-bed mansions with acres of land and rooms the size of football pitches, not a tiny little two-bedroom flat with barely enough space for more than one person in the kitchen! Despite not being a naturally messy person (I can almost hear my mother’s eyeballs rolling from here!), I’ll be the first to admit that our flat could be a lot cleaner – I tidy and wash up but general cleaning definitely takes a back seat, especially when coffee and cake is on the cards instead – I mean, there’s never going to be a time when running the vac round is going to win over eating my body weight in cinnamon buns!

Last week that all changed though, when I was lucky enough to have my flat cleaned from top to bottom by the wonderful team at Fantastic Services! Whilst they may not have spent hours coming up with a company name (or maybe they did and the catchy simplicity of it was a marketing winner!) their name of choice was certainly an apt one.. and what they lack in naming innovation they certainly make up for in quality!

Offering all home services from basic cleaning to gardening, tradesmen, pest control and even Christmas trees (both delivery and decoration!!), Fantastic Services consists of a team of over 1,500 providing over 40,000 services each month. I went for a one-off cleaning service and they sent three professionals for three hours. You can choose areas of focus, whether that’s particular rooms or specific tasks such as window polishing, dish washing, extractor cleaning or in my case oven cleaning! Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love cooking – for friends, family or simply experimenting with different cuisines and ingredients. Over the years, one part of our flat that has taken a particularly bad hit is the oven – many a grilled cheese, roast chicken and Yorkshire pudding have gone in and out as well as various cakes, brownies and other bakes and so I knew I wanted oven cleaning to be a priority! I know it may sound silly but I was honestly shocked at how clean our oven was when they’d finished. I knew it was dirty before but I hadn’t realised how frankly disgusting it was – it’d been so long since the oven shelves had been such a perfectly sparkling silver that in all honesty I’d forgotten that was the colour they were even meant to be!!

Walking around the rest of the flat was a similar story. The surfaces were shiny and polished to perfection, everything from clothes to towels had been folded and lined up beautifully and the bathrooms were stunning – they honestly looked good as new! Our shower, previously smattered in ugly limescale stains, was spotless, the sinks a bright white with taps so shiny I could see my own reflection and best of all the toilets were immaculate (yes I’m aware that I’m raving about clean toilets.. I’m such a catch!). They were another particular area that I was hoping they’d focus on – again, due to the limescale the sides had turned an ugly brown colour and truthfully no matter how hard I scrubbed them with buckets full of bleach I just couldn’t even start to chip away at the build up. I was honestly shocked – like the oven I’d forgotten that such a flawless colour was even possible.

The only slight downside was the language barrier. They were all absolutely lovely but I did struggle to communicate a few things to them. In particular I was surprised to find that they’d thrown away my washing up cloth, brush and several bags around the bin, one of which was a huge brown paper bag that I only use for recycling. Next time I used them I’d just make it clear what is and isn’t rubbish.. and I’d recommend that you do the same!

I’m aware that I’ve rambled quite extensively for what is essentially a beautifully clean flat, but when I discover something new I’m definitely guilty of getting a little over-enthusiastic! With my love for cosy nights in, fluffy pyjamas and big mugs of tea I was already old before my time, but with the addition of numerous overly excitable messages to my friends and family about how sparkling clean the oven was I’m well and truly on my way to becoming a fully fledged grandma!

Fantastic Services has honestly changed the way I view spending my money on home-services such as cleaning. I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I was definitely someone who wouldn’t spend money on something that would save me time. Just this week I dragged all of my suitcases on a train and two tubes to the airport, enduring a journey over three times longer than it would have been in a taxi, just to save money. My experience with Fantastic Services has definitely made me reassess though – the disproportionate amount of happiness that a beautifully clean flat has brought me has honestly surprised me, and much as chores like cleaning have always been things that I’ve labelled as things that I can ‘do myself’ and hence aren’t worth paying for, I can honestly say that I could’ve scrubbed those toilets until my face fell off and not have achieved anything like such a sparkling white finish. Plus.. less time spent cleaning means more time for cooking, baking and (let’s be honest!) eating. On a serious note though, I really do believe that time is money, and having such a crazy busy schedule (which I know many of you can relate to!) means I’m no stranger to the ‘time famine’ of modern life. Unlike money, time truly is a finite resource and in a world where time scarcity is becoming ever more prominent that I really do value every minute of my free time and how I choose to spend it.

I’ll definitely be using Fantastic Services again, and as well as one off cleaning services they also offer regular cleaning where you can book the same cleaner for anything from daily to monthly visits. You can either book online using this link or use their app to request a quote, arrange or reschedule any service you require.

Best of all you can use my referral code NickiChan which gives you £20 off your first booking (between 15th and 28th of February, and £10 off after that!). Simply enter my referral code when creating an account and you’ll instantly be credited with money off your first booking 🙂

Link to their website: https://accounts.fantasticservices.com/referral/NickiChan

* According to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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