Housekeeper Duties: 7 Tasks Housekeepers Should Not Do

>> Looking for help to clean your home? Find a housekeeper now.


Figuring out the role of your housekeeper can be more arduous than you think. Your first step should be to fully understand what the position of a housekeeper entails. Basic housekeeping duties include vacuuming, dusting, mopping, surface cleaning and kitchen and bathroom details, making sure all assigned areas of the home are clean, neat and tidy.

When you hire a housekeeper, you should specify what you expect early on in the interview process. Here are seven things your cleaning person should not be doing--either at all or without extra pay. So, don't include these tasks in your housekeeper's general duties.

1. Tidy before cleaning

“If you hire a housekeeper for a specific time frame, use the time wisely by picking up clothes or dishes beforehand,” says Victoria Amador, owner of Tremendous Maid. This way, the housekeeper can focus on actually cleaning your home. If you want to pay the person to fold your laundry, that's up to you--but you may not be making the most of her/his skills.

2. Clean human or pet discharge

“There have been several cases of maids getting sick from cleaning human discharge inappropriately,” says Amador. If this is a reoccurring problem in your home, look for someone who has this specific training--and don’t just assume your regular housekeeper can handle it.

3. Run personal errands

Have you ever asked your housekeeper to help with shopping for groceries, pet carebabysitting or picking up the kids from school? These types of responsibilities are not in the job description of a typical cleaning person. If you need a jack-of-all-trades, make sure you're clear in the job description and look for people with a wider skill set. You can also post a job for someone to help with errands and odd jobs.

4. Do add-ons

Things like cleaning out your refrigerator, scrubbing the oven and doing laundry are often above-and-beyond for most housekeepers. If these tasks are part of your requirements, be prepared to pay extra. “Cleaning up cat boxes, pet accidents and spoiled food items left on counters or sinks are not usual tasks left by the homeowner for housekeepers to complete,” adds Rachael Black, a housekeeper with Maid Brigade.

5. Lift heavy objects

Moving boxes and heavy furniture is definitely in the no category. You don’t want a housekeeper getting hurt. Different housekeepers and cleaning companies have different policies on what they will and won't do. Moving things over 15 kilos is off-limits to cleaners as there is too much risk of injury.

6. Climb

Whether it’s hopping on the countertop or a chair, your housekeeper should never have to climb to clean. They could get injured, which is a major liability for you. If you need such surfaces to be cleaned, say high windows, hire a service that is better equipped to tackle such a job. They’ll also be insured if an accident does happen.

7. Cook

In no way should your housekeeper be expected to cook your family meals. If this is something you’re looking for, think about employing a full-time domestic worker to care for your entire home. Part-time housekeepers work for multiple households throughout the course of the week, leaving little time to whip up some grub for your clan.


While these are merely suggestions on what to exclude from your list of tasks for your housekeeper, they are not set in stone. You can always offer your housekeeper more responsibility in exchange for a bonus or raise. Just be sure to keep the lines of communication open so that you’re both on the same page.


>> Looking for help to clean your home? Find a housekeeper now.


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