Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Going compact and creative when it comes to arranging space are absolute musts. For many Hong Kongers, coping with limited space has become the new normal. Things get a tad more complicated though for those among us who are employing a live-in foreign domestic helper – as live-outs are illegal – and who need to make extra living arrangements.
A survey conducted by HelperChoice in 2018 investigated the most common living arrangements for domestic helpers in Hong Kong. The survey exposes that a large majority (70%) of the job offers include a private room, 16% a room shared with a kid and 10% a room shared with another domestic worker.
If you decide to make the leap and hire a domestic helper, keep in mind that your domestic worker must enjoy adequate living conditions – i.e. decent, comfortable, and which ensure her privacy – no matter how limited the living space is. Here are a few tips to help you maximize space use:
A private domestic helpers room is not always possible given the – sometimes incredibly – small apartments and the limited space available to share among all family members. If your domestic worker doesn’t have her own room but is rather staying with young children or sleeps in a dedicated sleeping area in the living room, make sure that she gets enough privacy. You might want to partition the room by using folding screens – they can be removed easily – or thick curtains or even blinds as temporary room dividers.
- Given the size of ‘maid’ rooms in Hong Kong, it is fairly impossible to fit in an adult-sized single bed. The easiest thing to do might just be getting a folding bed or a sofa bed to guarantee more comfort to your domestic helper while saving space. The good news here is that it is possible to buy a custom-made bed at several locations all over Hong Kong. Check out Wing On, Pricerite, Takad Furniture, Seahorse Shop and Jade Rattan for more information. Several options are available, so you might want to consider discussing this with your domestic worker to know what suits her needs best.
- Most domestic helper rooms have no windows – this can be problematic, especially under during summer. There are multiple solutions to make up for the lack of proper ventilation and ensure that hot temperatures are bearable.
- Your domestic worker should have access to storage space to keep her belongings. For example, Takad Furniture offers clever storage solutions in the form of storage space and compartments integrated at the bottom of custom-made beds to maximize space use.
Any extra tips you would like to share with us? Reach out to us on our Facebook Page HelperChoice Employers.