One of the best decisions I’ve made last year is to hire a part-time cleaner, and I’m glad that I’ve insisted to hire one despite some objections from V initially. We can still manage the housecleaning ourselves, but if I weigh the opportunity cost of getting a part-time cleaner at $16 an hour versus doing it ourselves, it makes more sense for us to pay the money and use the time we would have spent on housecleaning to do other things – like going to the gym, spending time with Edison, reading and blogging (yes, that’s what I need my time for!).
I feel so lucky living in an era where there are plenty of helps available when it comes to domestic activities. Part-time cleaner or full-time maid, they are easily available here in Singapore. If you’re busy in the corporate world, if you do not have a full-time maid, or if you shun domestic activities because of a lack of time, I would advise you to hire a part-time cleaner.
A few readers wrote to me to enquire about my part-time cleaner, so I think it’s better for me to share it here in the form of a blog post. Hopefully what I’ve shared here would be useful to some of you.
First of all, there are two options for you to consider if you intend to hire a part-time cleaner: 1) going through an agency, OR 2) find the cleaner directly from classified ads etc. I would prefer option 1 because it’s less hassle and I can get replacement easily, if needed. Most of the agencies will charge a one-time agency fee, but I think it’s worth paying for the services that they provide.
Secondly, the part-time cleaners could be local aunties or foreign maids. Personally, I would prefer a local auntie with cleaning experience. It would be easier to communicate with her, and if she has prior experience, she will be able to work independently.
My first cleaner came on-board mid last year. She is a Singaporean in her early fifties. She came every Saturday afternoon for three hours to do housecleaning. She is very meticulous in her work, and I’m often very pleased with her works.
Our apartment is 1,360 sq ft, with 3+1 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. So, she often struggled to complete all the cleaning within 3 hours, that even I myself couldn’t complete. She would spend extra 20 to 30 minutes to make sure works are completed before she left.
Unfortunately, she had to resign from her work 4 months later due to health reasons. So, my agency quickly found us a replacement at no extra cost. By this time, V was pretty convinced that having a part-time cleaner is really crucial for us.
For our second cleaner, we requested her to come on Sunday morning for four hours. On top of the general cleaning, she will also help to do our ironing. She is also a Singaporean in her fifties. Now that Edison is having his Chinese enrichment class on Sunday morning, I often leave her at home to do the cleaning by herself when I’m out to send Edison to school.
She is a wonderful and trustworthy cleaner, and I’m really glad to have her around. I’m not fussy about how things must be done, so I pretty much leave it all to her. As long as works are completed, I’m okay.
She does the general cleaning and ironing every week. The general cleaning includes cleaning, mopping, wiping and vacuuming the entire house, including kitchen and all bathrooms. Some heavy-duty tasks like cleaning the windows and fans are done with certain regularity, and again, I leave it all for her to manage.
Since most of the housecleaning is already taken care of by the cleaner, I only have to do laundries and sweep the floor once during the weekday. And on a monthly basis, I’ll change the bed sheets by myself.
We’re happy with the current arrangement, and we’re paying our agency $270 each month for 4 cycles of cleaning (4 hours per session). This is not intended to promote my agency, but if you wish to know, I’m currently using Budget Cleaning.
Do you have a part-time cleaner too? How do you manage it? I love to hear from you too.