Do you Have What it Takes to be a Housekeeper?


Published on March 11, 2020

Would you like to become a Housekeeper? Do you have what it takes? And what are the exact tasks of a Housekeeper. It is so much more than being good at cleaning!

So keep reading to find out if you might have great hidden skills to become a Housekeeper!

What is a Housekeeper

Firstly, let’s have an understanding of what a Housekeeper actually is. There are big differences between being a Housekeeper and a cleaner. Because you will be doing so much more than just clean someone’s house. As a Housekeeper, you are basically keeping the household running.

Different Types

There are several types of Housekeepers.

You could be a live-in Housekeeper. Working within one household, living on their premises. You would normally have your own living area, bedroom, and bathroom. Normally this is a full-time role but it can vary. Becoming a live-housekeeper is not

A live-out housekeeper can be full time or part-time. This mean you would have your own house and not sleep in the house of your employer.

Another option is to work for several different households. You would work part-time for every different family, doing your housekeeping tasks only on set days, maybe alternating with other households. You can read more about part-time and full-time in this handy overview.

It is important for you to know what type of housekeeper you would like to become, so you can start your search from there.


Did you know a Housekeeper can be responsible for all the following – besides standard cleaning of the house.

  • Shopping and cooking.
    • Many housekeepers will be required to make sure the house is stocked with fresh fruit and veg, and all the items the family requires. Besides that, many housekeepers would prepare breakfast and lunch, and some even dinner. You might be very suited for the job if you love cooking!
  • Clothing care
    • This is a large part of the job description. Caring for clothes is a skill that goes much further than just putting the laundry on. Caring for delicate materials for example. Knowing when to take an item to the dry-cleaners. Mending clothes and cleaning handbags. Even organising closets is part of this.
  • Packing & unpacking
    • You should see yourself as the organiser of the house. Making sure everything is running smoothly. This included packing suitcases for when your employer and their family travel. And equally so, unpack their suitcases when they are back. So that everything is nice and organised!
  • Flower arranging
    • Fresh flowers can make all the difference in a house. You will not only be expected to keep the house clean, but also to make it look presentable and welcoming. Fresh flowers add a great touch to any interior. You could be arranging flowers and making them suit well for every different area of the house.
  • PA/Calendar Management
    • As a housekeeper, you could very much be running the family diary. Making sure your employer doesn’t miss his or her dental appointment. Booking taxi’s to the airport so they don’t miss their flight. Sorting deliveries and liaising with outside contractors. Everything to make the house run smoothly.
  • Childcare
    • Finally, many housekeepers do get involved in childcare. Please note: this is not always the case. Some families very much like to keep the childcare to either themselves or a nanny. But in many other families it would be expected for you to get stuck in with the children. Help with the morning school run, picking them up from school. Or bring them to all different activities. Think about how you feel about this and make it clear during applications for jobs – if you would like this to be part of your role!

What Characteristics Should You Have

As you can read above, a Housekeeper can really be an all-encompassing job that can cover many facets of family life. It very much depends on the role you are applying for. So you need to make sure your skills and personality match the type of Housekeeping role. However, there are several characteristics that are very helpful in becoming a great Housekeeper.

  • Eye for detail
    • Having a natural keen eye for detail is a vital thing to have to be a good Housekeeper. You shouldn’t be missing any details!
  • Organised
    • Are you quite a messy person? Then being a Housekeeper is probably not for you. You need to enjoy being organised, arranging things and sorting things out. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, it probably isn’t the right job for you.
  • Enjoy manual work
    • Being a housekeeper is not a desk job, and you will most likely not do a 9-5. Cleaning, packing, all the tasks as mentioned above, require quite a bit of stamina. So you need to enjoy working with your hands and getting stuck in!
  • Understand Social boundaries
    • Whether you would be live-in or live-out, chances are you will be working alongside or in the same area as your employee and their family. You need to be able to understand when your presence is suited, and when it is better to give them privacy.

Learn to become a Housekeeper

Did you know that you can do training courses to become a Housekeeper? Especially if you are new to the trade, it is a great way to spend a couple of days learning all the skills. This is also an excellent way of finding out if you like the job! A good training course will give you lots of hands or, practical tasks. So you should get stuck in and practise all the skills – instead of sitting in a classroom. If you pass your final test at the end of the course you should normally get a certificate. This is a great way of showing new employers your skills and gained knowledge. It can really help in standing out at a job interview and securing your dream job.

How can Polo & Tweed help?

Polo & Tweed run regular Housekeeping training courses, both group and private. If you would like to, a Housekeeping course can be tailor-made exactly to your needs. Our trainers travel all over the world to provide our highest level of Housekeeping training! If you would like more information on Housekeeping jobs or Housekeeping training, do get in touch with the team and we look forward to speaking to you!


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