|For many, hiring a professional cleaning service is the most convenient option. Photo vov.vn|
HÀ NỘI — As the Lunar New Year approaches, families are scrambling to prepare for the biggest holiday of the year by cleaning their houses in the final days leading up to the celebration.
For many, hiring a professional cleaning service is the most convenient option. In recent years, the hourly house cleaning service has become increasingly professionalised.
In the days leading up to Tết, cleaning companies are operating at full capacity to meet the growing demand from customers.
Many different forms of service are available, including family helpers, home-cleaning, carpet cleaning, and general cleaning of the whole house.
According to a representative of a 10-year-old company that supplies home-cleaning services in Hà Nội, the last month of the year is always full of orders.
The representative stated that in the first week of December, orders increased by about 150 per cent compared to November and up to 300 per cent in the third week, with an expected increase of 500 per cent in the last week.
To meet this demand, the company employs up to 1,500 people during this time. The work of domestic home-helpers is divided into shifts, each lasting four hours at the cost of VNĐ100,000 an hour.
If a home helper meets health standards and receives positive customer feedback, they can receive from three to four shifts per day.
In the ten days before Tết, some domestic helpers can earn a total income of between VNĐ12 million and VNĐ20 million.
Bùi Thảo My, 40 and living in Hà Nội, worked for six years as an hourly domestic helper, said that her income increased to VNĐ1.2 million per day in the month before Tết.
Six years ago, My was selling street food outside a school. Through some friends, she found an hourly domestic cleaning job that provides a stable income.
According to My, kitchen cleaning takes the most time.
“With a stable income and suitable shift pattern, I can go home to take care of my family, I feel loved and determined to work for a long time," said My.
My said that the house owners gave many domestic helpers lucky money, cosmetics, bags, and clothes.
“A friend of mine is given a second-hand television and a refrigerator when the homeowner equipped new ones,” said My.
Like many other seasonal domestic workers, on days near Tết, Vũ Thị Đức, 50, a native of the northern province of Quảng Ninh, is busy helping families in Hà Nội.
According to Đức, the cleaning season usually starts from lunar December 20th to the 30th. The main jobs included cleaning the house, ancestral altar, cabinets, tables and chairs, and windows.
“The job could be finished in one day or last three to four days for large houses.”
Previously, Đức worked for a house cleaning company. But two years ago, she left the company to work independently.
"Some homeowners are afraid that I cannot do all the housework at my age.
“But after completing jobs on schedule, they asked me for a direct phone number and then contacted me on their own.”
“Over the years, I have gotten many regular customers who introduce me to others, so I never run out of work on days near Tết,” she said.
Sometimes, demand outstrips capacity, so Đức also gives work to her colleagues.
“If I have enough health, I can earn more than VNĐ1.5 million per day. Occasionally, the homeowner gives me a bonus.”
Đức said that working hard was not enough.
"You must also use experience,” she said. “Each type of stain must choose a different detergent.”
“I must carefully scrub every nook and cranny in the toilet and kitchen.”
The hourly domestic worker must be honest and neat so the owner trusts them next time.
Tết is a time when everyone wishes to return home to reunite with their family. However, many domestic workers live in big cities far from home, so they often try to leave before the holiday starts.
This means that many families struggle to find help.
Nguyễn Thùy Linh, 30, in Long Biên District, Hà Nội, posted online for a domestic helper during the Tết days but could not find anyone suitable.
Linh and her husband work in business, so the end of the year was a busier time than ever.
Therefore, cleaning the house and caring for their 4-year-old son means they need all the help they can get.
“My family’s helper wants to return to her hometown from the 28th of the lunar calendar, so we have to find a daily helper during the Tết days,” said Linh.
“I can pay VNĐ700-VNĐ1 million per day with the main jobs of cleaning the house, cooking and taking care of a child.” VNS