Home life is often hectic. Successfully managing a home, children, work and a social life can be a juggle, and you may feel that it’s best for someone experienced to step in and manage the running of your household instead of you. Perhaps you travel lots, and need to know your home will always be clean and ready for your arrival? Maybe it’s just peace of mind about your property that you’re looking for? Whatever your situation, a skilled housekeeper can lift some of the stress.
For those who haven’t hired a housekeeper before, it can be difficult to know exactly how long they should be spending in your house. Everyone’s personal situations and needs can vary, but here is our step by step guide to determining your housekeeper’s schedule.
Step 1: Maths
We’re not talking complex equations or algebra, but some simple maths calculations can be the key to deciding on a schedule for your housekeeper! Don’t believe us? Start by calculating the number of bedrooms in your house.
Each bedroom should take between 1-2 hours to clean, depending on the size. We don’t mean a light dusting, but deep cleaning. Your housekeeper will need enough time to clean both around and under furniture, dust, hoover, change linen, and even leave fresh bottled water and plump your pillows if required.
Each bathroom should also take between 1 and 2 hours. Arrange your housekeeper’s schedule so that they have plenty of time to polish brass and chrome, brush toilets, scrub the tiles and floor and finish the bathroom nicely.
A kitchen will take 2-4 hours to clean, on average. As well as cleaning surfaces, floors and ovens, a deep clean will involve emptying the fridge and freezer, taking cutlery and crockery out of drawers and cupboards to clean inside and polishing the appliances too. A thorough kitchen clean is vital to keep bacteria at bay.
Living rooms and lounges can take between 1 and 3 hours to clean, depending on the floor plan. Your housekeeper will need to move sofas, clean fabrics such as cushions and rugs and mop and wooden floors.
Additional areas such as hallways, entrances, boot rooms, utility rooms or any outbuildings should also be taken into account. Assume each extra space will take around 30 minutes on average.
Now put that maths into practice:
Example 1: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 dining room, 1 utility room, 1 entrance hall, all large rooms = 17.5 hours per week
Example 2: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen diner, 1 entrance, all large rooms = 7.5 hours per week
Example 3: 8 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 dining room, 1 reception room, 1 utility room, 1 entrance hall, 1 separate basement apartment, all large rooms = 45 hours per week
Step 2: Additional Duties
Often, clients who need full time housekeepers will look to ask their candidate to complete additional duties such as cooking, shopping, pet care or running errands throughout the day. Here are some examples of additional hours which can be incorporated into your housekeeper’s schedule:
Depending on how much cooking you require, you should add additional hours to include preparation and cooking of meals, as well as cleaning time. We would suggest you allow an additional 1 hour for breakfast preparation and clean up, 2 hours for lunch preparation and clean up and then 2 or 3 hours for dinner preparation and clean up, depending on how many people are being cooked for.
Some people may like their housekeeper to physically go food shopping, whereas others may prefer an online order. Allow 1 to 2 hours for online ordering, and 2 to 3 hours for a physical shop, factoring in the commute time too.
Factor in enough time in your housekeeper’s schedule for the errand itself to be completed, as well as journey times. Errands could be anything- from picking up a guest at the airport, to posting some letters or collecting an item.
If you have pets that need feeding, walking, playing with or taking to the vet, you will need to factor this in to your housekeeper’s schedule as well.
Step 3: Regularity
Some clients want their homes cleaned once over each week. Others expect the cleaning process to be repeated a number of times throughout the same week. Some people like fresh linen every day, and others may want it once a week, or whenever is appropriate for the room in question.
The regularity of cleaning will also affect your housekeeper’s schedule. Take the number of hours needed for one clean and times it by how many times a week you’d like it repeated. You’ll then know how many hours your housekeeper will need, and you may realise you require more than one member of staff to get the job done.
Step 4: Lifestyle
Do you travel regularly, meaning footfall within your house is at a minimum? If this is the case, then it’s likely you’ll just need standard hours to maintain your property. If you have a busy household, with a large family and regular guests, it will mean that you’ll need deep cleaning more often, and a higher level of maintenance.
Think about your lifestyle and needs, as this will allow you to calculate your housekeeper’s schedule more effectively.
Hiring a full time housekeeper can be an overwhelming experience for a number of families. It’s very important to get the right balance of hours in your housekeeper’s schedule to ensure that your property and home is cared for in the correct way. If you need more advice, or want to talk through your individual requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Polo & Tweed. We’d be delighted to help you!