What Is A Housekeeper?


Published on April 16, 2020

You might have heard of the term Housekeeper before, but do you really know what it entails? Many people think that a Housekeeper and a cleaner are the same job. But that is absolutely not the case! You might be considering hiring a Housekeeper. Or maybe you are considering a career as a housekeeper. Either way, is it really important to know exactly what the job entails.

So, what actually is a Housekeeper?

Responsibilities of a Housekeeper

Firstly it is important to know that a housekeeper can be an all-encompassing term for a wide variety of tasks. It really depends on the household and what is needed, what the housekeeping tasks may be.

First things first though: a Housekeeper is not a cleaner. There are many differences between a housekeeper and a cleaner, which you can read in more detail here. But mainly you should know that a housekeeper is so much more.

In general, the housekeeper is responsible for the full cleaning and upkeep of the whole house. This goes from all cleaning including deep cleaning of the house. But also the day to day running of the house can be a part of if. The clue is in the wording really, they keep up the house. This can include finishing touches such as fresh flowers, or the family’s favourite candles being lit. Making the bed every morning and prep the bedroom for the evening. Basically, making sure the house looks and feels homely, and everything is running smoothly.

Some housekeepers can even be in charge of shopping, meal prep and cooking, and child to pet care. It really depends on the household and what is needed.

Housekeeper Duties

  • Organisation and general tidying of all areas of the house
  • Inventory of housekeeping cleaning products
  • Upkeep and general maintenance (or sending for repair) of the housekeeping tools
  • All general cleaning, both deep and upkeep of all the rooms in the property
  • Deep cleaning inside appliances
  • Emptying rubbish and bins
  • Laundry, ironing and wardrobe management
  • Clothing care, repairs and sending clothes to the dry cleaners
  • Window care and cleaning
  • Pet care, including feeding, walking, and taking to the vet
  • Potential (light) childcare, assisting with children or babysitting
  • Light gardening
  • Dealing with contractors and deliveries
  • Cooking, from simple daily cuisine through to more advanced dinner parties and events
  • Running errands, shopping, and other relevant duties/tasks
  • Managing inventory and stock keeping
  • Admin, paperwork, and organisation
  • House sitting and property care when the principals are travelling, or away from the home

What a Housekeeper should not do

When looking at what a housekeeper is, let’s also look at what they shouldn’t do to understand the boundaries!

  1. Heavy lifting and moving furniture
  2. Climbing without health and safety precautions in place
  3. Cleaning up human or pet faeces without necessary health and safety precautions in place
  4. Bring their own cleaning equipment. (A cleaner might do this, a housekeeper doesn’t)
  5. Anything illegal!

Housekeeper Combination Roles

As you might have seen from the long list of tasks above, a Housekeeper can really be an extremely varied job. Depending on the household, a Housekeeping job might include things such as pet care or childcare. Cooking and meal prep is another popular combination role you can find.

When looking at hiring a Housekeeper, ask yourself what is important. Each candidate will come with their own unique set of skills and background, so make sure which of the abovementioned tasks really stand out for you. So you can make a pre-selection from there. If you know you want your Housekeeper to help out with the children, make sure they have either done this before or are definitely comfortable around children.

If you want your new housekeeper to cook and prep meals, again make sure they can do this. Some housekeepers can be amazing cooks, but that doesn’t mean they all automatically are! Finally, another thing housekeepers tend to pick up a lot is household admin. Find a housekeeper who is naturally organised if this is one of your priorities. The Housekeeper can act as a family PA – booking flights, reminding you of appointment, sorting shopping and restaurant bookings too.

Salary of a Live-In Housekeeper

As with any staff member, more experience and specific skills come at a higher salary range. The following gives you an indication of UK level salaries for live-in Housekeepers. Please note that this can still vary depending on the package, background and situation.

Entry Level/Less Experienced candidate with 2-4 years of experience. 

  • £430 – £580 gross per week
  • £21,000 – £30,000 gross per year

Mid Level/More Experienced candidate with 4-8 years of experience.  

  • £580 – £820 gross per week
  • £31,000 – £40,000 gross per year

High Level/Very Experienced candidate with 8+ years of experience.  

  • £820+ net per week
  • £41,000+ gross per year

Salary of a Live-Out Housekeeper

If you are looking to hire a live-out Housekeeper, the below salaries can give you an indication for the UK. If you hire a new member of staff, make sure you are up to date on all government regulations on how to pay them correctly.

Entry Level/Less Experienced Live out candidate with 2-4 years of experience.

  • £510 – £740 gross per week
  • £25,000 – £38,000 gross per year

Mid Level/More Experienced Live out candidate with 4-8 years of experience.  

  • £740 – £980 gross per week
  • £38,000 – £50,000 gross per year

High Level/Very Experienced Live out candidate with 8+ years of experience.  

  • £980+ gross per week
  • £51,000+ gross per year

How can Polo & Tweed help?

Are you looking to hire a Housekeeper? Why not let Polo & Tweed do all the hard work for you! With a team of dedicated and passionate recruitment consultants, Polo & Tweed have a worldwide network fo outstanding housekeepers. They will guide you through the whole process taking the stress away from you completely. You can sit back, relax, and select the right new staff member for you.

To understand how we work or to get a search started, please do get in touch with us here. One of our experienced recruitment consultants will be in touch to help you further!

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