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Housekeeper job description: What should and shouldn't your housekeeper do?

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Are you thinking about hiring a housekeeper but you are unsure what they should and shouldn’t do?

Guardian Carers are here to help you. We will break down for you what a housekeeper entails, what tasks they are usually responsible for and how you can hire a housekeeper in no time.

Hiring a housekeeper is no longer regarded as a taboo topic. People of all ages are resorting to hiring housekeepers to tend to their homes, as they are living busier lives. Working busy schedules and looking after children, for instance, often does not allow you the time to also look after your home.

Moreover, many older adults are unable to look after their homes up to their standards as they used to. This can be either due to a condition or illness or simply old age. In such cases, hiring a housekeeper can offer the perfect solution.

What is a housekeeper?

A housekeeper is a consistent presence in your home. They will be there one to two times per week or more, depending on your needs and the size of your household. With Guardian Carers, you can hire a housekeeper to come in for a couple of days per week, five days per week or even on a live-in basis, if they are required to run a bigger household.

A housekeeper will complete a list of daily or weekly duties while in your home. However, you need to know that you will be required to provide the cleaning products they will need to complete their tasks. Some housekeepers may bring certain cleaning supplies they prefer or may ask for payment to be made for their preferred cleaning supplies.

What should a housekeeper do?

There isn’t a clear definition of what a housekeeper should and shouldn’t do, but we will highlight some of the general duties you can expect a housekeeper to do for you. A housekeeper’s responsibilities really do vary depending on your needs and the necessities of your household.

The general duties of a housekeeper are:

  • Light cleaning in the living areas, such as dusting, hoovering, hoovering, sweeping and mopping
  • General tidying of the rooms such as decluttering and light organising
  • Cleaning the bathrooms such as the mirrors, toilets, showers and baths
  • Cleaning the kitchen area such as wiping down appliances, counters, sinks and cabinet doors
  • Washing, drying and putting the dishes away
  • Making the beds and changing the bed linen
  • Washing, folding and ironing clothes
  • Cleaning the interior windows
  • Taking the bins out
  • Running errands such as grocery shopping, dropping off the dry cleaning and mail
  • Preparing meals

While these are some of the main general duties you can expect a housekeeper to do, you should lay out from the beginning additional tasks that you will need to be completed such as pet care, for instance. Moreover, in relation to meal preparation or running errands, you should explain to the housekeeper exactly what tasks you expect of them and how you expect them to do them. This will ensure that they will provide you with a service that will meet your standards.

What shouldn’t a housekeeper do?

While a housekeeper can help with most duties around the house, there are some duties that you should not expect from your housekeeper. This includes anything that may put them in physical danger or which does not fall within their area of expertise.

You shouldn’t expect your housekeeper to:

  • Do deep cleaning or do outdoor window washing. These sorts of jobs can be done by a specialist cleaning service. You should not expect your housekeeper to climb on anything higher than a footstool.
  • Help with child care or elderly care. Housekeepers are not trained to look after children or the elderly. If you do require such a service, you should look at hiring a nanny-housekeeper or a carer housekeeper (more on this later).
  • Clean up human waste. Exposure to human waste can be dangerous. If you require such a service, you should enlist the help of a professional waste removal service.
  • Lift heavy objects or furniture. Housekeepers should not move anything heavier than a 35-pound object. This is a general rule of thumb. Due to the safety concerns of this role, you should look for someone who is specialised in performing jobs that require a certain amount of physical strength.

What other types of housekeepers can I find?

As stated above, if you need support with childcare or elderly care, you can enlist the help of a nanny-housekeeper or a carer-housekeeper. Besides the housekeeping duties they will support you with, they will also be able to look after children or the elderly. If you wish to make such a hire, you should look for a nanny or carer agency.

If an elderly person needs help with their daily living as well as housekeeping needs, Guardian Carers can support with finding the best person for the role. A carer-housekeeper is the perfect combination between a carer and a housekeeper. They can support with things such as personal care, mobility assistance and medication prompting.

How can I hire a housekeeper?

Guardian Carers can support you in finding a housekeeper suitable for your needs with the least amount of stress. After a simple phone enquiry describing your needs, requirements and preferences in relation to a housekeeper, one of our consultants will start the search for your housekeeper.

Our consultants will perform all the vetting for you and then send you profiles of suitable candidates for you to choose from. You can make a selection of your preferred candidates which you can also interview.

Once you have made a final decision, our consultants will support you throughout the hiring process by liaising with your chosen housekeeper, sending you sample contracts and payslips for you to use.

If you would like to know more about how a housekeeper can support you in the upkeep of your household, you can make a no-obligation enquiry with one of our consultants on 0207 183 1395.

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