Clearing the home of clutter in the lead-up to Chinese New Year is expected to bring fortune but it can be time-consuming and back-breaking.
This may be why more people are turning to the professionals to get the work done.
Cleaning companies said demand for their services in the lead-up to the festival on Saturday has been strong.
Mr Vincent Soh, 43, a manager at 3C Resources, started getting requests in mid-September and has had to turn down bookings as his slots were filled three weeks before Chinese New Year.
There has also been a 25 per cent increase in demand compared to the last Chinese New Year period.
SPRING CLEANING DIY
With just under a week till Chinese New Year, cleaning companies offer some tips to get your house in tip-top shape over the next few days.
• Ideally, you should set aside two hours a day for 10 days to get your house as clean as possible without tiring yourself out. With about six days left, however, you will need to set aside slightly more than three hours every day.
• Be organised about the cleaning and do it systematically.
For example, work your way out from the bedroom. Also, clean from top to bottom and clockwise so nothing is overlooked.
• Use a squeegee instead of newspapers to clean your windows and use microfibre cloths and mops that are more absorbent.
• Avoid being sentimental and throw away items that are no longer useful.
• Focus on ad-hoc tasks that are not usually done throughout the year. These include cleaning ceiling fans, under the beds and refrigerator shelves.
Jalelah Abu Baker
"Many clients who engaged us in the past came back, and we also have new customers, mostly young professionals from flats in Sengkang and Punggol," he said.
House cleaning manager Mulyadi from @bsolute Cleaning, who goes by one name, also noted a rise in bookings- up about 5 per cent compared to the same season last year.
Since the start of the year, the company has serviced more than 10 homes every day, on top of regular cleaning engagements.
Common chores that professional cleaners undertake, particularly for Chinese New Year, are wiping windows, cleaning under beds, wiping ceiling fans and removing grease from the kitchen.
A four-room Housing Board flat typically requires three cleaners to work for four hours.
The cost of these services range from about $200 to about $700, depending on the number of cleaners, size of the house, number of hours and the tasks.
Increasingly, children are also engaging services for their elderly parents, the companies said.
Manager at Budget Cleaning Services Gigi Lok, 39, said half her clients require her company's help for their parents.
Ms Setoh Yanling, 37, an administrative executive, has used Budget's spring cleaning services for her home for the past five years.
She leaves more time-consuming and difficult tasks, like getting rid of tough stains in the kitchen, to the professionals as they "have better equipment".
"They really know how to make the house sparkle," she said.
Jalelah Abu Baker