5 Ways Your Housekeeper Can Help With the Holidays
Learn how to save time during the holiday season by relying on your housekeeper.
Is your holiday to-do list so long that it will take you until February to complete? Instead of stressing about everything that has to get done, hire a housekeeper or ask your current one to take some of the weight off of your shoulders.
>Find extra holiday help to keep your spirits bright this season.
>Find seasonal holiday jobs.
"A housekeeper is really supposed to be trained in doing everything that pertains to cleaning," household managing expert Marta Perrone explains. That includes holiday cleaning jobs.
There are plenty of seasonal tasks your housekeeper can handle, so we consulted Perrone, Lisa Johnson, a cleaning service owner in Phoenix, Ariz., and Ginny Underwood, a home organization professional in Hilton Head, S.C., for more information on how a housekeeper can help with the holidays.
Give the Kitchen Special Attention
The kitchen is the center of holiday preparations, so it could use extra attention in the days leading up to the big celebration. Johnson suggests asking a housekeeper to clean the inside of the refrigerator, freezer and oven, wipe down the tops of the cabinets and sweep under the stove and the refrigerator. In addition to organizing the pantry, Underwood suggests asking if your housekeeper can also assist with holiday food preparation that can be done ahead of time, for example, sauces, stuffing, vegetable prep and baking.
Pull Out the Decorations
Asking your housekeeper to be your holiday decorator is an unreasonable request. "Not every housekeeper has the capability of doing that. That's an art, not a natural part of training for being a housekeeper," says Perrone. However, getting the decorations out of storage, unwrapping them, dusting/cleaning them and then packing them away after the season, are areas where your housekeeper can help out.
Prepare the Guest Room
If you're expecting holiday company, have your housekeeper help you get a room ready. This might involve clearing closet space, cleaning a mattress or laying out fresh linens. Underwood also recommends the housekeeper prepare the guest bathroom by stocking it with extra towels, toilet paper and travel-size products. During the visit, your housekeeper can freshen guest areas as needed.
Maintain a Festive Look
Talk to your housekeeper about some additional holiday chores to keep an eye on:
- Sweeping pine needles around the Christmas tree
- Watering the tree or any holiday plants like poinsettias
- Tidying the fireplace log pile
- Clean a chimney
- Changing the bedding to holiday bedding
- Dusting the holiday card display
Get the Table Ready
Your housekeeper can also get the table ready for a fancy holiday dinner. "It might mean going through the cupboards, getting the crystal and washing it," suggests Perrone. A housekeeper can also polish silverware, inventory candles, iron tablecloths, fold napkins, wash serving trays and arrange place settings.
Of course, there are some jobs you shouldn't ask your housekeeper to tackle. These include things like moving heavy furniture, climbing high ladders or hanging lights. Keep the chore list reasonable and always ask if your housekeeper would mind helping out with these areas -- don't demand extra chores.
Remember, your housekeeper wants to enjoy the season, too. If you're going to need additional help, mention it early. Johnson advises, "Planning ahead always helps, so the housekeepers can reserve the extra time for the tasks."
And if you're asking for extra help, don't forget to pay more for that work. Plus, if you have a housekeeper you work with regularly, don't forget a holiday bonus, says Perrone. "That means a lot to them."
Your holiday to-do list might feel unending, but with your housekeeper's help, you'll tackle it in plenty of time to enjoy a relaxing cup of eggnog by the fire with the ones you love.
Meghan Ross is a freelance writer. Her work can be found here.
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