When I moved to Barcelona, the first problem I encountered was not my Spanish, nor my Catalan. Nor did I have any difficulty in finding a flat. It was finding a home-help that was the real struggle.
This was because of the way we typically recruit these professionals, in that they are usually recommended to us by friends. However, apart from a few Spanish friends who tried to help me, I knew no-one here.
Besides, it is not like employing a plumber, as you will be at home with him when he is doing his job, whereas a home help will often be in your house alone, and if you do not have someone with good references, you could easily be robbed.
This is why I felt at a loss as to how to deal with the situation. My Spanish did not help, as I could not tell in an interview whether a person was trustworthy or not. However, thanks to Plan Living Solutions from Hola Bank, my problem was easily resolved.
Firstly, as they organised everything, I had nothing to worry about. What is more, the service is backed by CaixaBank, one of the most important banks in Spain. And that is not all, as well as a cleaning service they also offer:
- Ironing and washing: worth thinking about as you save yourself a lot of time (this does not mean that the home help has to go to a laundrette, but does the washing and ironing at home).
- Cooking: an ideal way of getting to know Spanish gastronomy, which apart from being new, is, above all, different. There is always a new dish to try, so you get plenty of variety.
- If you have children, child-minding services are offered, so you will not need to look for a baby-sitter (avoiding something else to fret over).
- Lastly, although it is a little more expensive, you can have a live-in help. A live-in help means you will have help at hand at all times, but also that the house will constantly be attended to and will always look its best.
I decided on this last option and frankly, I am really pleased. This is particularly because I am secure in the knowledge that nothing bad is going to happen, either to my belongings, to my home, or to my children, and this is invaluable to me. With a big company behind this plan, I feel I have much more protection than with any other solution I could have found on my own.
Additionally, however sharp you are, you are always going to be at a disadvantage in a foreign country, as if someone tries to cheat you or you have some kind of problem, language is one more handicap you have to deal with..
For all these reasons, I highly recommend this service as you will benefit in security, convenience and peace of mind.