Living away from home is a life-changing experience that opens up your world to a new lifestyle. However, there’s a lot of things to do when your lease expires and you need to return the keys to your landlord. To ensure a smooth handover and get your security deposit back in full, consider completing these 10 things that many tenants frequently miss out.
#1: Paint over stains on the walls
Yellow patches over white walls are easy to spot, and very often landlords may take issue at having to remove them at their own cost. As such, they may engage expensive cleaning specialists to do an extensive cleanup, deducting the cost of the service from your security deposit.
The cheapest way to clear out stains is to apply a fresh coat of paint. If you have paint that matches the original color, then all you need to do is a bit of touch up. Otherwise, you’ll need to spend a few hours painting that section of the wall, or get an odd-job worker to do it at an affordable rate.
#2: Sun your mattress to remove musty odors
If your place came fully furnished, you’ll need to remove the mattress in the same condition that you received it. If you haven’t been airing your bedroom, your mattress might have a stale musty smell. Luckily, the sun is a natural antibacterial agent that removes foul smells and kills bacteria at the same time.
Leave the mattress out to sun on a hot day for at least 3 hours, then flip it over for another round. Your mattress will come out smelling as fresh as the day you moved in.
#3: Wash the curtains in the living and bedrooms
As the gateway to the dust and smells from the outside world, curtains stain and absorb smells very easily. Before handing over your apartment, send the curtains to a reliable laundromat to get it dry-cleaned or washed.
If you’re tight on time, find one that helps to take down and put up the curtains. Especially if you’re living alone, handling all these is certainly a tall order!
#4: Tighten the screws on creaking or rattling chairs
Usually the result of loose screws or a joint that needs a bit of oil, fixing creaking or rattling sounds on furniture involves an easy fix. Don’t give your landlord a chance to replace his furniture using your security deposit, because the cost difference can be huge!
Also, give your furniture a good wipedown to clean out the accumulated dust. Nothing makes a landlord happier (and more forgiving) than seeing his or her place returned in good order.
#5: Remove coffee stains on the dining table
Accidents happen, and over many months of use, stains may appear on the table and other surfaces. Try to use conventional techniques to remove these stains, so you don’t have to fork out extra to hire a professional to do the job.
If you need help, here are some tips that might work on common stains.
#6: Get your maintenance paperwork in order
Your tenancy agreement may state that you need to get an air-conditioning repairman to perform an inspection regularly, or engage a cleaner to mop the floor prior to returning the apartment. If you need to do these things, make sure you have the invoices on hand as evidence, or you may end up paying for an expensive professional from your security deposit.
#7: Patch up tears in the upholstery
If your sofa or curtains sport minor tears, a simple 5-minute patch up with a needle and some thread can save you an expensive repair job. You’ll need to make it blend in though, so use thread of the same colour, stitched together with small needlework. This is why paying attention during home economics class is so important!
#8: Return all the keys that came with the apartment
Your landlord might have handed you a whole bunch of keys, which include the ones for the shoebox, the back door, the side gate, the maintenance panel etc. Keep those safe, as you can’t duplicate and replace a key that you’ve lost. In the worst case, you’ll need to break and replace the lock, which is a huge amount of effort and cost for something that can be easily avoided.
#9: Destroy any ant trails and insect nests
Unless your apartment has an extensive jungle theme, ant trails and insect nests are never desirable. If you can follow the trail, find the source of the ants and spray some insecticide a few weeks before the handover. You should also get rid of cobwebs behind cupboards and in dark corners of the house, before your landlord freaks out about clearing an insect infestation.
#10: Repair any broken appliances or replace them with working ones
If you can do a spot of DIY repairs, try fixing broken appliances like sealing the leaking pipe from a washing machine, or replacing the flickering lightbulb in the ceiling lamp. Otherwise, ask if you can replace the broken appliance with one that you’ll purchase yourself. You can probably find cheaper alternatives listed on an online marketplace or at a garage sale. If your landlord were to buy a replacement using the money from your security deposit, you can be sure it’s going to be a spanking new one.
A lot of things can go wrong when returning a rented apartment, but generally most landlords just want to be assured that you’ve taken good care of their place. Maintain a good relationship with them, and show that you’ve put in some effort to keep things neat and tidy. That should be enough to get your security deposit back in full!
While moving to a new country is exciting, it also involves major changes to your lifestyle. There’s a lot to do before you settle in, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the househunting, immigration paperwork and your daily chores.
Fortunately, there’s a whole range of commercial services in Singapore that you can help you with the latter. Here are 10 ways to get started.
Engage a reliable child care operator to look after your kids
Find a bit of me time for yourself by engaging a trustworthy child care operator to help to take care of your children for a few hours. There’s plenty of options in Singapore, from the infant-care specialists to kindergartens that look after and teach your kids.
The government maintains a directory of approved operators who are qualified in early-childhood professional services. This way, you will also have a peace of mind while going about your other chores.
Go grocery shopping online
Some find grocery shopping therapeutic. If you’re not one of these people, then Redmart’s your answer to this problem. Redmart operates entirely online, and delivers groceries right to your doorstep. It’s convenient for you, and saves you the hassle of lugging plastic bags of groceries around every few days.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Redmart also sells fresh produce. It’s a one-stop solution that helps you save many hours each week!
Find a place to stay with Krib
House-hunting is a chore, and the Singapore real estate market is both complex and intimidating for the uninitiated. Krib aims to simplify the house-hunting experience by connecting you with the right realtor or landlord, and also gives you an indication if you’re overpaying for a particular place.
For the budget-conscious, you can also use Krib to handle all your rental paperwork, saving you hours of independent research into the process.
Organise BBQ parties to get to know the neighbours
Even though most Singaporeans live side by side in apartments, there is few opportunities for socialising as everyone hurries back and forth to work everyday. By planning a meet-and-greet BBQ party in your condominium’s BBQ pit or the nearby HDB park, you’ll have a chance to properly introduce yourself and learn more about the neighbourhood.
BBQ parties are popular among Singaporeans, and you can engage specialised services that cater to these events. BBQ Wholesale and EZ BBQ are among the more popular options these days.
Hire domestic help through an online manpower agency
If housework is too much for you to handle alone, consider hiring a domestic helper for a few hours per week. Sendhelper and Agent Bong can connect you part-time maids, babysitters, cooks and elderly-care helpers.
With a clear scope of work and a transparent price-list, using these services also helps reduce your need to manage the helper, while saving you hefty fees involved in hiring a full-time stay-in maid.
Speed to work on an express bus
Skip the rush hour traffic and glum-faced commuters by boarding an express bus. While they’re priced higher than the average public bus service, these buses only pick up passengers from a few stops, and then head straight to the Central Business District in under an hour (at worst).
The LTA has a directory of the approved vendors plying these routes, along with their respective rates. For that extra half hour of comfort, plus the joy of waking up later, it may be worth the price!
Book a fitness instructor on to go
Can’t find time to go to the gym? You can hire a personal fitness instructor to keep you in shape, saving you multiple trips to the gym every week. GoTrainer’s instructors are professional and will meet you at a location of your choice.
To save money, you can even find friends or family to train with. It’s probably fun that way too!
Engage someone to walk your pets
While pets make awesome companions, it’s also a heavy responsibility to keep them active and healthy. However, if you’re short on time, consider hiring someone to walk your pet and look after them when you’re busy or out of the country.
Pawshake and Dog Walker Singapore are popular choices, and are pet lovers themselves. Who better to take care of your four legged friends, right?
Visit the doctor without waiting in line
Singapore has excellent public health-care, with reasonable consultation rates that won’t break your bank. While polyclinics are usually busy looking after the community across Singapore, you don’t have to wait in line for long.
On your first trip down to the polyclinic, register with the counter for an online account. This way, you can make a consultation appointment before going down for subsequent visits. You’ll easily save up to an hour each time, and you’ll even get a reminder days before your scheduled visit!
Outsource your laundry and dry cleaning
Washing, folding and ironing your clothes can be a hassle, and the laundry basket is never empty. Let Keep Calm and Laundry On handle your dreary laundry chores, so you can spend more time with your family and friends. We also handle curtain and carpet cleaning, so you can give your house a regular refresh at reasonable prices. Best of all, you don’t even need to step out of your house - we pick up and deliver your clothes right to your doorstep!
While some of these services come with a premium, they will help you save time and ease the burden of daily chores. As you settle into life in Singapore, you’ll find more useful services and lifestyle hacks to make your lifestyle more efficient. Share your ideas here, we want to hear them!
Curtains are the first line of defence against the dust and dirt from the environment, keeping the air clean and your family members healthy. They also play an important role in setting a the mood of a home. Too dark, and the atmosphere feels depressing. Conversely, letting in more natural light opens up the interior and lightens the mood of the occupants.
As such, it's a good habit to clean your curtains regularly, especially for light coloured fabrics that yellow easily. This post will guide you through the various options, including whether to wash it by yourself or find a curtain dry cleaning professional.
#1: Should I do my own washing or engage a curtain dry cleaning professional?
In most cases, you'll want to check what the labels say. For fabrics like cotton or polyester, you can find instructions on how to machine wash at the right temperature. Just remember that the same rules of not mixing colours and whites together still holds true, and ideally you'll want to wash your curtains separately.
In other cases where the fabric is more fragile, you may need to send it to a curtain dry cleaning professional instead. Materials like silk, lace and velvet will need special chemicals and handling techniques to properly clean.
#2: How much experience does the dry cleaner have?
Unlike conventional wash and fold laundry services, curtain dry cleaning is a specialised service that is best done by experienced professionals. Ask your dry cleaner about his expertise in dry cleaning your particular type of curtains, and if they have the right chemicals to use for the job.
#3: Is the curtain dry cleaning outsourced?
To save costs, your curtain dry cleaner may outsource the actual washing to another laundromat. You may pay more because of this, and still end up with an inferior wash. Ask your curtain dry cleaning professional if they do their own washing, and where their laundromat is located at.
#4: Is the curtain dry cleaning done in Singapore?
Even if your curtain dry cleaning professional has a dedicated facility, you'll also want to know if it's based in Singapore or Malaysia. While laundry services in Malaysia may be cheaper, the turnaround time is longer. And you wouldn't want to live without your curtains at home for any longer than you have to, right?
#5: Are there hidden costs involved?
Get a definite cost quotation on the dry cleaning service for your curtains. Usually, it varies by weight, size and material of the curtains.
Some curtain dry cleaning professionals may try to squeeze in surcharges and handling fees to the final cost. Others may not have the price list available publicly on their website. Before you confirm the order, always have a definite quote inclusive of GST, fees and any other add-ons.
#6: Is the dry cleaner responsive when you try to contact them?
If you need to contact your curtain dry cleaning professional, is he or she available to chat? Or does the call go unanswered frequently? Sometimes if you need to rush an order, it may be difficult to get hold of the dry cleaner. Or if you have last-minute cleaning instructions to inform the dry cleaner, before they start work on the curtains.
The bottomline is not to just go for the cheapest quote, but the one with the best value and service.
#7: Can the dry cleaner help take down and put up the curtains for you?
Dismantling and installing curtains is a tedious work, especially if you don't have much help at home. Some dry cleaners may offer to help with this for a small fee, which saves you time and effort. If your curtain dry cleaning professional is not willing to help do this at all, you may want to consider engaging another service provider.
#8: Does the dry cleaner offer pickup and delivery of the curtains to your home?
It's a chore to carry a bulky set of curtains to a laundromat. To help you out, a good curtain dry cleaning professional will offer door to door pickup and delivery. Ask if this is an option, otherwise you need to be prepared to make two cumbersome trips to the dry cleaners in the coming week.
Keep Calm And Laundry On offers quality curtain dry cleaning services at affordable rates. If you're looking for a great dry cleaner that meets the 8 criteria, or just get a non-obligatory quote for a cleaning order, give us a call at +65 9755 7119, or email our friendly team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Life in Singapore is often hectic and leaves us with little time for daily chores. If you're feeling overwhelmed by your laundry list of things to do (excuse the pun), we're here to help. Here are some ideas to work towards fuss-free living in Singapore.
Tip 1: Beat the crowds by cycling home
Is rush-hour traffic wearing you down? Grab a shared bike from Ofo, oBike or Mobike, hit the bicycle paths along the Park Connector Network, and you'll be home in no time. You'll also feel re-energised after some exercise, as you shake off the office blues while pedalling home.
If you rather head back in air-conditioned comfort, consider carpooling using Uberpool or GrabHitch. It's environmentally-friendly, fuss-free, and there's loads of promo codes to help you save money. And you might even make a new friend by the time you reach home!
Tip 2: Plan your route before you leave
No one likes to be trapped in a traffic jam, or be stuck during a train breakdown. A fuss-free lifestyle means getting around easily, avoiding delays and transport hassles if possible. If you're driving, plan your route using Google Maps, and check the road conditions before setting off. For public transport commuters, download the nifty MyTransport app from the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Not only does it show the bus timings and traffic conditions, it also alerts you to any train delays as it happens.
Tip 3: Order in and skip the queue
Need to grab bite before heading home? Do it the fuss-free way by ordering from one of the many food-delivery services serving a wide variety of cuisines. Check out FoodPanda, UberEats or Deliveroo for the widest range, or indulge in some comfort food from McDonalds or Pizza Hut.
Sometimes, you might chance upon the occasional promo code and score a free meal. Don't delete those marketing emails before going through them!
Tip 4: Visit the library from your fingertips
Can't find the time to visit your neighbourhood library? Browse the National Library Board's (NLB) extensive ebook collection from the comfort of your home. If you haven't done so, create an NLB account and login to the ebook resource portal. You can even read it on your mobile phone by downloading the Overdrive app or Adobe Digital Editions app.
Tip 5: Shop for groceries on the go
Much like many other daily activities, you may not have time to shop for groceries on a busy day. Make grocery shopping a fuss-free experience by visiting Fairprice Online, Cold Storage or RedMart and ordering your daily necessities there. These services also deliver to your home, so you save on the hassle of carrying back bulky bags of groceries.
Tip 6: Brew a cuppa in under 1 minute
Getting to work in the morning is a chore for some. Save some time on brewing the perfect fresh coffee by investing in a Nespresso machine. Instead of fussing over a conventional coffee maker to heat up and drip water through coffee grounds, you'll get your daily cuppa in less than a minute.
Tip 7: Maintain a clean desk policy
A fuss-free lifestyle means reducing barriers to getting work done, so you stay constantly abreast of your to-do list. A clutter-free desk reduces distractions at work and helps you stay focused on the task at hand. But how does one keep those bulky documents out of sight?
Start by taking notes on a notepad app, instead of unsightly yellow post-its stuck all over the place. Work on digital documents, and only print them when you really need a physical copy. And reduce the number of personal items on your desk - like those presents from the Christmas gift-exchange in office years ago.
Tip 8: Invest in quality products that you use often
While it's always good to be prudent in spending money, some things are worth investing in. For instance, the office chair that you sit on for hours on end. An ergonomic chair offers great lumbar support, and will probably save you many trips to the chiropractor in the future.
The same thing goes for many objects that we use daily. For a fuss-free lifestyle, you may want to invest in a high-end computer, a comfortable pair of spectacles, a warm jacket or even good shoes for walking around town!
Tip 9: Engage part-time help for cleaning chores
After a long tiring week at work, you want a fuss-free weekend to relax. Hire a part-time cleaner to help with your cleaning chores, and spend some time recovering from the stress of daily life. Many options abound, from the traditional cleaning agencies to online services like Sendhelper and Helpling.
You can also let a machine take over the job. Home robots like the Roomba will work tirelessly even when you're not at home, ensuring that you come home to a clean home everyday.
Tip 10: Outsource your laundry to the professionals
Laundry is a chore that few enjoy. In the sweltering heat of tropical Singapore, we constantly need to change clothes and send them to the washing machine for cleaning. After that, it's off to the dryer, or to hang out in the sun for drying. Once dry, there's still folding and ironing to be done, unless you don't mind walking around in creased and crumpled clothing. Quite easily, the task of washing clothes can take hours every day to complete.
Send your laundry to a laundromat and spend more time with your loved ones instead. With affordable prices and door-to-door pickup and delivery, Keep Calm And Laundry On provides professional laundry and dry cleaning services in Singapore. Even better still, new customers enjoy 20% off on the first order!
These 10 tips are designed to help ease your burden and enjoy a fuss-free lifestyle, in the face of our ever busy lives. If you found them useful, share them with your friends and share some of your own tips in the comments below!