Let’s face it: household chores are pretty much at the bottom of everyone’s to-do list. Here, our readers recommend four domestic service agencies that place part-time helpers who can lend a hand in keeping your home shipshape.
1. A-Team Amahs & Cleaners
Sheri Chandler, husband Scott, Kaley (13) and Jack (12), American – three years in Singapore
We’ve used A-Team for three years. They came recommended from our relocation consultant. I only needed help with weekly cleaning, and I appreciated knowing that the person I was hiring was legally permitted to work in Singapore as a part-time domestic helper.
Our helper, Ann, visits once a week for eight hours. She does all of the weekly “deep cleaning” that a household needs: laundering sheets, making beds, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming floors and mopping, as well as cleaning the kitchen oven and cooktops. She also launders our clothes and presses my husband’s work shirts. On occasion there are odd jobs I ask for help with, such as washing the windows or taking the dog for a midday walk if I can’t be at home.
I would definitely recommend (and have!) the A-Team to others. The process was very simple, and I have consistently been provided with helpers who were diligent, trustworthy, and a pleasure to have in my home every week.
a-team.com.sg | 6100 6130
2. Comfy Homes
Johanna Motteram, husband Phil, and children, Emma (14) and Cooper (11), Australian – two years in Singapore
We’ve used Comfy Home for almost our whole time in Singapore. I found them online and their rates seemed reasonable. I spoke with Andy on the phone, and he was helpful and could organise a cleaning crew almost immediately.
Initially, I used a weekly service, two days per week, for a full house clean, including changing bed sheets and ironing. After a while it became obvious that we were being “over serviced” and, after a quick discussion, we agreed to drop to once a week. My two helpers, Yuzhen and Yuhua, come for two hours; while Yuhua cleans, Yuzhen irons. On the odd occasion that Yuzhen or Yuhua cannot come due to illness or family obligations, Comfy Homes lets me know in advance that a replacement will be sent.
For our family, part-time helpers are a good fit. As I’m working from home (writing up my PhD thesis), I didn’t want a live-in helper – I prefer to be alone to write. Because Comfy Homes sends two helpers, four hours of housework get done in two hours, which minimises the disruption of my working day. The helpers have always been friendly, conscientious, and willing to adapt to my preferences and needs. I value the work that Yuzhen and Yuhua do in our home, and I certainly value the freedom from ironing and other chores. I would recommend a part-time helper and Comfy Homes.
comfyhomes.com.sg | 6844 4523
Chloe Kurzmann and husband Jeremy, [nationality?] – two years in Singapore
I started using Helpling in March (the company launched here in February). I chose them for the flexibility of their service. My husband and I don’t need a full-time maid, and Helpling is the easiest solution for booking a weekly cleaner without any agency fees. It’s so simple to book on their website or mobile app – in three minutes you can book and pay your cleaner. Lastly, the cleaners are legal workers (Singaporeans only), and they are covered in case of accident.
I use Helpling for basic cleaning: bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchen (exterior windows, ironing, oven and fridge are optional but quite useful). I have a weekly package and I always ask for the same cleaner – she’s a very nice auntie!
If there is any issue, it’s simple to call the customer care line. A call to Helpling is also enough to request the same cleaner, which is what I did. Since making this request, Shireen has been my “official” cleaner. I have peace of mind and don’t hesitate to leave her alone, because Helpling knows that all its cleaners are trustworthy.
helpling.com.sg | 3157 2014
4. Pink Maids
Dorine Belliard and husband Philippe, Carel (14) and Adrien (11), French – three years in Singapore
We’ve been using Pink Maids for almost a year. We were looking for an agency with some flexibility and no entrance fees. Pink Maids offered all of that, and you can choose the number of cleaning sessions per month.
The staff visits twice weekly; their main duties are dusting, mopping, ironing and general cleaning. Pink Maids has assigned one specific helper who comes every week and is accompanied by a second helper. The good thing about this is that the main helper is always present, is familiar with the place and knows exactly how I want things to be done. Even if the second helper is different, there’s no need for me to explain everything over again. So easy!
I would definitely recommend Pink Maids to anyone looking for a part-time helper. You can put the service on hold whenever you want, which is convenient when we go on vacation. It’s like an à la carte service!
pinkmaids.sg | 8370 8370
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s August 2015 issue.