How to Cope Without Your Housekeeper


Published on March 25, 2020

If you are used to having a Housekeeper in your house, it can be a big adjustment when they cannot come to do their work. Whether you have a live-in, live-out or part-time housekeeper, they really keep the household running. And when that falls away, it can be challenging to learn how to cope without your housekeeper – even for a short period of time!

So whether your housekeeper is off ill, on holiday or for any other reason cannot come to do their normal work for you. Learn how you can cope without your housekeeper for whatever length of time!

Find your Household Plan

Chances are, your housekeeper will have made a plan on how to clean and keep up your house. If possible, try and contact your Housekeeper to find out if she has a household plan or a schedule they normally follow.

This could consist of a daily, weekly or even monthly overview of tasks and planning. When to clean what, when to follow up certain things, when to do errands like putting the bins out, etc. You would be surprised how many things your Housekeeper does, and that is why it can be quite daunting at first to cope when they cannot be there for a while.

If you are lucky your housekeeper has such a schedule indeed. And can send you their schedule so you can try and implement this yourself.

It could also be that your housekeeper does not have a schedule written down. Especially if they have been working in your household for quite a while, chances are they have come up with a workable routine to get everything done. If this is the case and you can speak to them – see if you can note down the daily, weekly and monthly tasks so as to create an overview for yourself like this!

Make (and stick to) the Household Plan

They only way to cope with your housekeeper temporarily being unavailable is to plan and be organised. This comes down to the plan we discussed above. Cleaning and keeping up a household can be quite a daunting task if you have never done this before! So firstly it is important to get an idea of everything that needs to be done.

However, for you to be able to cope, make sure you mark the absolute necessary things and separate them from things that could perhaps wait a little longer. Maybe even until your housekeeper returns!

There is no point in doing any deep clean tasks now – your housekeeper is a professional that can do the deep cleaning tasks when they return. This is not the time to start cleaning the windows in and out. Nor should you be washing your curtains

This way you will not spend your whole day doing your housekeepers’ job, but you can still maintain an organised and clean level of living on a day to day basis.

Urgent Tasks

Under urgent tasks, we consider things you really do not want to leave and must happen for things to keep running as normal. Doing these urgent things when you can, will make you cope without your housekeeper a lot better already!

You can think of things such as:

  • Taking the (food)bins out.
    This is definitely a task that needs to happen whenever they are getting full. Food bins should be put out daily.
  • Clean surfaces and stains.
    Again something to add to the daily routine. Finished eating at the table? Make it a habit of tidying everything away and wiping down the table used. If you make sure to do it straight after using an area, tasks will not build up so much! Spilled a drink or some food? Clear it up straight away – mop or hoover to get it out of the way.
  • Clean kitchen and cooking areas.
    Again, try and get in the habit of this whilst you are preparing food/drinks or straight after. Another great way to cope without your housekeeper. If you are cooking, clean up/throw packaging etc whilst you are cooking so that it does not pile up. After you finished using the kitchen, make sure everything is put away and surfaces have been cleaned. Even just some kitchen cleaner and a damp cloth.
  • Dishwasher/washing of dishes
    Make sure to load the dishwasher with any item that can go in there, and also unload it as soon as it is done. This will stop you from creating a backlog and it will be a lot more difficult to clean if you leave dirty plates and cutlery out for a while. If you do not have a dishwasher this will be a little bit more time consuming, but equally important to keep on top of.
  • Making the bed
    This will be a crucial thing for you to do, to be able to cope without your housekeeper. Starting your day organised is very important. But it is equally important to have a clean, made-up bed to step into after a long and tiring day. Get into the habit of making your bed as soon as you get up. Just so that it is ready for you in the evening. Make sure to wash your sheets regularly. So you will always have fresh sheets to put on when it requires changing. Having a good night’s sleep is crucial, especially when you are having to cope without a housekeeper for a while!
  • Stay on top of laundry
    Another thing you will notice when you are without a housekeeper for a while. Laundry can pile up very quickly! Make sure to prioritise things like your daily outfits (work clothes, fitness clothes), towels and bedding sheets. You do not want to run out of those! If you are not sure if an item is suited for the machine washing, wait until your housekeeper is back or use a dry cleaners in the meantime.

Other Things to Consider

The reason for your housekeeper not being able to come can vary. They might be on a pre-scheduled holiday. If this is the case, you can pre-plan for the time when they are away. Ask your housekeeper to do any deep cleaning tasks before they go on holiday so this can last a little while. If you are not sure about holiday entitlement and holiday pay, this UK government website can help.

If your housekeeper is off ill and they are employed by you, you might have to pay sick pay. You can read all about it on this UK government website.

How can Polo & Tweed help?

Polo & Tweed understand the amazing value of housekeepers and how difficult it can be to cope without your housekeeper for a while! We offer great, easy to understand online housekeeping courses if you are stuck on what to do or want to understand a particular skill. A great way to learn more about housekeeping and keep your house in the best possible state!

Do get in touch with us here and one of our training consultants can talk you through what we can do for you.

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