These Startups Are Fighting to Do Your Dirty Work
Time is money, and cleaning takes time.
I hate cleaning. It's the bane of my adult existence, and I personally believe that the dishwasher is man's greatest invention. But this is 2014. Isn't it about time that technology made our chores nonexistent? Well, now it can... for a price.
There are multiple startups attempting to disrupt how we clean and do chores. They range from full-on maid services to glorified temp agencies, and they cover a variety of price points that target everyone from college kids to the very wealthy.
Just about all of them offer much more than cleaning, but these five companies will make your home spotless.
Availability: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington D.C., and London
Services: Home Cleaning, Office Cleaning, Cabinet Cleaning, Fridge Cleaning, Oven Cleaning, Laundry, Interior Window Cleaning
Cost: $29 - $455
Of these web-connected cleaning options, Handybook is the middle-of-the-road option. It's available in 26 cities across the United States and Canada, as well as London. The company's app is slickly designed and easy to use, allowing you to book a cleaning in just a few taps.
It's not the cheapest service, but it's still relatively affordable. And like most of these services, the cost decreases if you schedule recurring cleanings. While a one-time cleaning of a two-bed, two-bath home will cost $157, a recurring weekly cleaning will cost $75.
Availability: Atlanta, Austin, Boca Raton, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Munich, New York City, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Saint Paul, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington D.C.
Services: Home Cleaning, Cabinet Cleaning, Fridge Cleaning, Oven Cleaning, Laundry, Wall Cleaning, Interior Window Cleaning
App: No, but there is a mobile site
HomeJoy is the most broadly available platform, offering cleaning services in 31 cities. It's even available in England and Germany, as well as less populous American cities like Boca Raton, Charlotte, and Saint Paul.
The company charges a flat hourly rate, starting at $25 but increasing depending on the services you request. Other services offer more esoteric cleaning options, but Homejoy is roughly comparable to Handybook, covering the majority of things that you'd need cleaned in your home.
Availability: New York City (and Chicago, soon)
Services: Home Cleaning, Office Cleaning, Dusting, Blinds, Trashcan Cleaning, Baseboard Spot Cleaning, Bathroom Tile Scrubbing, Stain Removal, Oven Cleaning, Fridge Cleaning, Kitchen Cabinet Cleaning, Bathroom Cabinet & Vanity Mirror Cleaning.
Cost: $69 - $643
App: No, but there is a mobile site
MyClean offers the most comprehensive cleaning options of any of these startups. The price is on the high side, but the company uses a 50-point cleaning checklist to cover parts of your home that the others ignore. It also provides extremely flexible scheduling options. That means, for instance, that you could have someone come late in the evening to clean up after your house party.
The major downside is that the service is only available in New York. That said, it'll be launching in Chicago any day now, and success there could mean a more rapid spread to other markets.
Availability: Dallas, Miami, and New York City
Services: Home Cleaning, Home Organization, Carpet Cleaning, Pool Cleaning, Window Cleaning,
Cost: $49/month+, as well as vendor costs
App: iOS & Android
Serviceful is pretty different from the other companies in this list. The service acts as a concierge for your home, allowing you to delegate tasks to a live human being via the company's app. These experts then find an outside contractor or vendor to come to your place and complete the task for you.
The big difference between Serviceful and its competitors is price. The service itself costs a minimum of $49 per month, and that's before you factor in the costs of the subcontractors who complete your service requests.
This can quickly add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars, making it a service better suited to big spenders who are too busy to manage their homes themselves.
Availability: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, London, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Orange County, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Services: Home Cleaning, Home/Office Organization
App: iOS & Android
TaskRabbit is probably the most unorthodox service you can use to clean your home. It works like a temporary hiring service, in that just about anyone can become a "Tasker" and work for you for an hourly rate.
If the idea of hiring some random stranger to clean your home freaks you out, TaskRabbit assures us that all of its "Taskers" are background-checked and vetted. Each task is insured for up to $1 million, and the hourly rates are relatively cheap, starting as low as $15 per hour.
Services can be requested from the company's intuitive smartphone app, and while the cleaning options are rather limited, the company makes up for it through very competitive pricing and 24/7 customer support.
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