More get expert help with spring cleaning

AN INCREASING number of busy young Singaporeans are turning to commercial services to help make spring cleaning a little bit easier.

Cleaning and self-storage companies are reporting a jump in demand for help with the annual tradition. Time and space restrictions at home have been cited as the main reasons for the increase.

A-Team Amahs and Cleaners has seen a 10 per cent increase in demand for its home services in the four weeks leading up to the Chinese New Year, compared with that of the same period last year.

Young customers account for much of the increase, said A-Team Amahs owner Jean Ngiam. She estimates that 70 per cent of her customers are young professionals aged between 20 and 40. The number of these customers is up 20 per cent from the same period last year, she added.

Another cleaning agency, Domestic One Home Services, has noticed a 15 to 20 per cent increase in business.

Young executives "turn to us to solve their cleaning needs" because of their busy work schedules, said Mr Keith Yew, operations manager at Domestic One, adding that the customers then get to spend more quality time with their families.

Self-storage company Lock + Store cites small living spaces as one of the reasons for a 10 to 15 per cent increase in business during this year's lead-up to the Chinese New Year.

"People need to store away more things during their annual spring cleaning to create more space," said Ms Helen Ng, chief executive of Lock + Store.

New mother Jaclyn Tay, 31, a project manager at a bank, bought boxes and bubble wrap from a self-storage company to use during her spring cleaning.

"I hired help with cleaning in the past. It cost me up to $200 but, this year, I am relying on myself and (self-storage) products, which cost around $50," she said.

Mrs Valerie Tan, 29, a marketing executive, finds that boxes provided by storage companies make it easier for her to tidy up the home.

"It takes me and my husband a couple of weekends to do our spring cleaning. It is much simpler with the boxes, as they help to keep the place neat," she said.

Mrs Tan estimates that her spring cleaning will cost $150 this year.

Chinese New Year comes earlier this year, falling in January instead of February.

That makes this month especially busy as many people have barely been able to put away their Christmas decorations, let alone prepare for the Chinese New Year.

"The short period between Christmas and Chinese New Year this year means that customers have little time to pack and unpack items in between the two celebrations," said Mr Jes Johansen, chief executive of new self-storage company Store Friendly.

His company has received several reservations for storage space after Chinese New Year.

Cleaning companies said clients do not have enough time to do spring cleaning on their own.

"Young people who are occupied with their careers and lifestyle are more willing to fork out money and let professionals do the cleaning on their behalf," said Ms Ngiam.