What You Should and Should NOT Expect from a Housekeeper


Published on April 5, 2019

Find out what you should and should not expect from a hired housekeeper. Share on XWhen you’re looking to hire someone to help clean and manage your house, what should you expect from a housekeeper? You need to consider the duties that you’ll expect your housekeeper to perform depending on the size of your house and your family and whether you should you hire a part- or full-time housekeeper.

Here are 5 things you should expect from your housekeeper. And 5 things you should NOT expect from a housekeeper!

5 Things You Should Expect from a Housekeeper

1. House Management

A good housekeeper is more than just a cleaner. Your housekeeper must be proficient in house management. He or she should know where things are kept rather than leaving clutter and just cleaning around it.

For example, in a house with children, toys may be left lying around in communal areas. Such as in the living room. A good housekeeper should be happy to tidy up the toys by returning them to their proper place. Ready for the children to play with again when they return home.

2. Products & Inventory

A good housekeeper knows it’s their job to ensure there’s always a supply of the products required. For cleaning and maintaining the house.

For example, the housekeeper should re-order products which run out. Or call a contractor to fix a vacuum cleaner. Either way, they should be in charge of ensuring the inventory of cleaning products and appliances is always up-to-date and in stock.

3. Strong Knowledge

Each household is unique. So each family will expect different products and approaches to be used by the housekeeper.

Whether chemical-based products or more organic and natural cleaning products are used. The housekeeper should know how they all work and the safe way to use them to the best effect!

4. Flexibility

Flexibility is fundamental to being a successful housekeeper, particularly in a domestic setting.

For example, the head of the household may want a refrigerator to be deep cleaned, or perhaps the dogs are desperate for a walk. The more a housekeeper can step-in and perform the tasks that the household needs, the more secure and long-term their employment will be!

After all, this flexibility in itself will allow for the family and the head of the household to have an easier life – and that’s what hiring staff is all about.

5. Time Management

This largely depends on the number of hours the housekeeper works, and whether they work alone or as part of a team.

Time management is a key aspect that a good housekeeper should provide their employer. A good housekeeper will be reactive if tasks take longer than expected, and ensure that time limits are met.

After all, they are the expert, and experts should take responsibility over their own domain!

Which Duties You Should NOT Expect from a Housekeeper?

1. Heavy Lifting

A good housekeeper knows that furniture needs to be moved to clean underneath and around it. However, as an employer, you should always protect your staff.

It’s important to protect your staff’s health. Something which might be easy for you to lift could seriously hurt your housekeeper.

If a particularly heavy object needs to be lifted, you need to consider appropriate health and safety measures. Perhaps you can enlist the help of an external member of staff to lift the furniture before and after the cleaning.

2. Climbing

Along with lifting, climbing to reach higher areas must also be treated with caution. This isn’t to say a housekeeper shouldn’t climb, but they should have special training with health and safety precautions in place.

For example, having the housekeeper climbing up on a chair is unacceptable. Having them use a safety step ladder is more appropriate, if they are trained for this.

If you have high-to-reach areas, you should buy specialist tools to dust and clean these places. For complex tasks such as cleaning a chandelier, consider hiring a specialist team that the housekeeper can manage to ensure they do the task to the highest standards.

3. Human or Pet Faeces

You can imagine that when dealing with children and adults that may get sick, or with pets, your housekeeper may be faced with poo!

However it’s important to keep health and safety in mind and that it might not be appropriate for your housekeeper to deal with faeces.

Of course the situation does vary from housekeeper to housekeeper. Your housekeeper may be happy to manage a one-off mishap and clean up but one must never assume this is part of their role. Faeces can cause disease and many housekeepers will not feel comfortable dealing with it.

4. Personal Care Duties

Elderly clients often need additional levels of support in their home but you should not expect a regular housekeeper to assist with this type of personal care.

Administering medicine or having to clean or wash an elderly person are the type of duties which should be strictly given to a trained professional.

If your needs include personal care, you can find housekeepers that are also qualified or experienced carers, so you can combine housekeeping and personal care can in their duties.

5. Anything Illegal

It should go without saying that, just because your housekeeper is working in your private home, you shouldn’t ask your housekeeper to do anything illegal.

Activities considered illegal could be related to employment laws in your specific country as well as things generally considered illegal such drugs or certain behaviours.

While you may choose to undertake an illegal activity, you should not expect your housekeeper to work in such an environment.

Why is Polo & Tweed The Most Trustworthy Housekeeper Recruitment Agency for Your House?

Hiring a housekeeper for your home is an important decision. As leading experts in domestic recruitment, we’ll help you make that decision and find the perfect match for your specific needs.

Whatever your needs regarding your housekeeper’s working hours and duties, discuss them with us and we’ll find you a fully vetted and experienced housekeeper for your household.

Having a housekeeper will give you the time to focus on things you enjoy, such as quality family time, work and travel. You’ll be able to return to a beautiful home and have peace of mind that your personal possessions are being professionally cared for.

If you’d like to discuss with us further how we can help you find a trustworthy housekeeper for your personal requirements, please get in touch with us here, and one of our consultants will get back to you.


  1. Alice Carroll says:

    Thanks for pointing out that I can’t expect housekeepers to do heavy lifting for me.

    One of the places I’d like to be regularly cleaned in my home is the library.

    Perhaps I should move the shelves myself in order for housekeepers to be able to sweep the dust the accumulated behind them.

    • Aafke Meelen says:

      Hi Alice,

      Thank you for your comment and pleased to hear you are finding the article helpful. If you would indeed move anything yourself please be careful in doing this!

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