You have found your dream home. Perfect location, excellent size for you and your family, and great spaces. You have filled it with all your loved furniture and art, and it is starting to feel like home. But how do you maintain a beautiful home, so that it will continue to impress you?
The keep is good housekeeping. Your housekeeper or housekeeping team should be trained with the right skills to not only keep your house clean, but for it to feel like your beloved home. This will be possible when your housekeeper is highly skilled, and understands all the final details and finishing touches, such as fresh flowers, correct wardrobe management and the correct knowledge of upkeep of all areas of the house. Good training is vital to achieve this and keep standards high.
Why is correct housekeeping important
Correct housekeeping is so much more than stain removal, vacuum cleaning or staying on top of laundry. The art of keeping house is the understanding of continuously keeping the whole space feel like a warm and welcoming home, without any mess or disorganised areas.
Correct housekeeping will provide organisation and structure, and will make sure that any issues will be caught in time. A good housekeeper would keep on top of all lightbulbs being replaced before they fully stop working. It means going on a trip and all your suitcases will be packed, will all your clothing washed, mended, dry cleaned and packed correctly.
Correct housekeeping is also vital in terms of safety. There are many health and safety issues that arise when working as a housekeeper, such as working with water and electrics, slippery floors, working on height when standing on stairs, lifting items up and down stairs, and food safety and hygiene.
Training will make sure that your housekeeper is fully up to date on all the health and safety regulations, ways of doing the job safely without many injury risks and also to keep you and your family safe in the house.
Basic housekeeping skills
Knowing and understanding all the different areas of the house, and how to clean them, is a vital skill to have. This enables you as a housekeeper to make a schedule and planning for daily, weekly and monthly tasks so that everything will be kept it the best state, and that no areas will be missed or forgotten for too long.
You should also know what types of equipment to use in different areas and when – you, for example, do not want to have to drag a heavy vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs often if you are cleaning different rooms – try and plan it per floor, or have different pieces of equipment on different floors where possible.
Special surface care
Knowing all different surfaces is crucial to be able to clean it. A marble floor can respond very badly to certain types of cleaning products, and so does (untreated wood). You will have to be able to firstly recognise the material, know what it is, and secondly how to do a general clean on it, and how to remove stains from it.
Some floors can scratch easily if you do not use the right vacuum cleaner – some bathroom tiles will never get clean if you do not use the right product or cloth. Knowing your different surfaces will save you a lot of time and frustration!
Special stain care
This follows from above – stain removal will be a large part of any housekeepers job, and you might come across stains that have been soaking for a long period of time. There might have been a party over the weekend – and you will have to make things spotless on Monday morning, so you will need to be able to think on your feet and have several options of removing even the toughest stains.
Remember that the material the stain will be on heavily influences how you clean it. Removing red wine out of velvet will be very different than wool, wood or satin for example. You do not want to make it worse by damaging the material the stain is on, so tried and tested knowledge is key.
Care of Fine Art & Antiques
You might well step into a house with expensive pieces or arts and antique – and very different cleaning and upkeep rules apply here! Some paintings, sculptures, and pieces of art are so valuable that they require specialist cleaning by an outsourced team.
This means that your tasks do not become cleaning it, but it becomes keeping an eye on it so you can book in the specialist at the right time – before it gets dirty!
Laundry is a skill that many underestimate. However, you will soon find out how important it is to do laundry correctly if your principal’s favourite item of clothing gets ruined in the washing!
Doing laundry is about understanding all the different types of material, specific stain removal, and caring for fine materials such as silk and lace. It is about knowing what can be washed in the washing machine, how often, and what should be brought to the dry-cleaners. It also includes knowing how to mend clothes, fix buttons and rips, and when to have it fixed professionally.
Ironing is a true skill you can really impress any principal with. It is also a vital skill to know as it is very easy to ruin even the most simple piece of clothing.
This is your time to shine, make sure you do all the ironing meticulously, precise, and with special care for all the different types of material. Consider ironing sheets, bedsheets, duvet covers to give it a really crisp, fresh feeling when you are putting them on the bed!
Managing a wardrobe, whether it is one small closet or wardrobes for a full family need managing, upkeep, and cleaning. This included organising tho clothing, but also getting seasonal wardrobes prepared in the summer and winter. You will also be packing and unpacking clothing for travel, and make sure everything is organised the way the principal likes it – and for ease of finding anything needed.
Wardrobe management also includes keeping all clothing, shoes, and handbags up to date – some need mending, specialist cleaning or polishing and this should be done continuously so that all items are ready to be used at all times.
This is part of finishing touches – and this will make the main difference between a cleaner and a housekeeper. To know how to arrange, select and match flowers is guaranteed to impress principals and really uplift any room, hallway, entrance or area.
Make sure you pick flowers your principals like, but also be aware of allergies they might have. Select flowers that reflect the season, or the mood or situation. There might be a very formal dinner party happening so then you would not pick very bold, colourful flowers. You can be creative here, and the more you do it the better you will become at it, and at impressing the family you work for!
How is Polo & Tweed’s housekeeping training different?
Polo & Tweed are highly experienced in providing unique, tailor-made training courses to any level, background or experience level. We only work with leading industry professional trainers who have many years’ experience in working in high end households, world renowned hotels, and super yachts. They bring all of this experience and skills to the Polo & Tweed classrooms for the next generations to learn and pass on!
Polo & Tweed only does group training in very small groups – we do not believe in large group training, we want everyone to get the best quality of training and lots of time with the trainer too. They create a friendly, positive environment where people are can learn, improve and practise in a positive, safe and encouraging environment – leaving feeling inspired, motivated and with many new found skills that have been tried, tested and perfected so that all will go smoothly when applying this in real job situations. If you think you or your housekeeper would benefit from training, why not get in touch us the team here. We will be able to give you an overview of all our training and make sure to match exactly the right one for you. We look forward to hearing from you!