If your spring-cleaning goals fell victim to the almighty billable hour this year, Helpling just might be the solution you’ve been looking for. The self-proclaimed “Uber of household cleaning,” Helpling is an app (and website) that lets customers book home-cleaning services in a few clicks. The company was founded in Berlin in January 2014 and moved to Canada soon after (and more than 200 cities worldwide). Helpling promises a streamlined, trustworthy experience for busy professionals. But does it deliver? I gave it a test-drive to find out.
The facts: First, I created an account and entered my credit card info. Next, I plugged in my preferred appointment time, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in my apartment (which Helpling uses to estimate the cleaning time), and if I had any special requests. I then left instructions for my Helper on how to get into my place (I chose to be home to meet her, but you could also leave a key). After I hit “book,” I received email confirmation letting me know the name of the Helper I’d been matched with. After the service, Helpling billed my credit card and asked me to rate my Helper, just like with an Uber ride.
Supporting arguments: Booking through the app was quick and easy, and I secured my preferred appointment time with no problems, only a few days in advance. (Helpling also allows you to cancel or amend bookings up to 24 hours before, free of charge). The cleaning service itself was top-notch — my Helper told me she’d been in the business for 15 years and her work attested to that: my floors and counters were sparkling when she was done (and, for the first time in a while, visible). Rates are competitive at $25 an hour, and you can pay with a credit card, unlike most independent cleaners. Helpling also tracks the Helpers you’ve used, and what you rated them, so you can go back to your favs.
The counter: While all Helpling partners are insured, and must pass an extensive application process (including two interviews, a cleaning test and a criminal record check), I still found it a bit nerve-wracking to open up my apartment to someone I hadn’t personally vetted (you’re a risk-averse lawyer, you get it).
Final judgment: If having a stranger in your house doesn’t deter you, Helpling is a quick, easy solution to your clutter conundrums. Plus, with all your tidying outsourced, you’ll have more time to conquer those pesky client files (or, let’s be real, Netflix).
This story is from our Fall 2015 issue.