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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Cleaning companies spring in

Spring cleaning services are in demand as Chinese New Year nears, with companies almost fully booked
January 13, 2013
By: Cheryl Wee
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Cleaning companies spring in MRS IRIS HOON -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

With Chinese New Year less than a month away, the traditional spruce-up of households - to sweep away ill fortune before the festivities - is already in full swing.

Demand for spring cleaning services is up by about 5 to 10 per cent in the several weeks leading up to Chinese New Year compared to the same period last year, said five of 10 cleaning companies in a check by SundayLife!.

Already, some of these companies are almost fully booked for the last two weeks before Chinese New Year. Demand is running at 10 to 60 per cent higher than in normal off-peak times.

Unlike regular cleaning sessions, spring cleaning provided by these companies is more thorough. It usually includes de-greasing the kitchen and scrubbing hard-to- reach areas such as ceilings and behind toilet pipes.

The sessions normally start from around $200 for a three-room HDB flat to more than $1,000 for a private bungalow.

Some companies also offer services such as steaming mattresses, which may incur additional costs.

Aware of the cleaner crunch that happens at this time of year, some canny clients made bookings for such services as early as November last year.

Others, such as business owner Iris Hoon, 47, decided to plan for her five-room HDB flat to get a thorough wipedown a week before Christmas last year to beat the peak demand.

She enlisted the help of a team of about four cleaners from cleaning company Housekeepers Management Services for a three-hour spring cleaning session. It cost her about $400.

She says: "It is quite a hassle to spring clean by myself. They got into every nook and cranny, including behind the fridge. Everything seemed brighter when they were done."

Some customers prefer to have their spring cleaning done closer to Chinese New Year.

Owner of Housekeepers Management Services Liew Seow Ling, who is in her 40s, says: "They are worried that if they get their house cleaned too early, it will get dirty before Chinese New Year comes."

With the rush to get houses spick-and-span, companies have had to rope in more cleaners.

Spring cleaning sessions normally involve teams of between three and seven cleaners, and take three hours to a full day, depending on the size of the home.

Budget Cleaning & Housekeeping Services has dipped into its pool of 70 local part-time cleaners to deal with demand. The company has only four full-time cleaners.

Its manager, Ms Gi Gi Loke, 35, says: "Even then we still have limited time slots and we will have to turn away clients, especially for the last weekend of Chinese New Year."

Ms Setoh Yanling, 33, a senior order fulfilment executive, has arranged to have her five-room HDB flat spring cleaned by them early next month. It will cost her more than $300. She had her house cleaned by the same company last year.

The mother of a five-year-old son and one-year-old daughter says: "My kids are still young and I do not have time to concentrate on cleaning.

"Last year, after the job was done, I felt like the house was brighter, with a kind of shine that made me feel good."

cherylw@sph.com.sg

If you need to spring clean your house, these companies still have a few slots available: A-Team Amahs & Cleaners (tel: 6100-6122), Home Cleanz (tel: 6440-3342), Amahs On Wheels (tel: 6837-2708), Comfy Homes (tel: 6844-4523), Housekeepers Management Services (tel: 6884-4333) and Budget Cleaning & Housekeeping Services (tel: 6728-7769)

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