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The rise of the housekeeper

Need an extra pair of hands? If you're considering hiring a housekeeper, there are few things you should know before handing over the hoover. Here are some basic rules to keep things sweet.

Life is hectic – this we know! Between long hours at work, lengthy commutes, organising and running around after kids, and having a social life there’s barely time to think about cleaning and running a house – much less actually doing it.

Enter the housekeeper – a modern-day fairy godmother who will not just clean your home, but also manage and maintain the running of it. More than just a cleaner, a housekeeper will also do household admin, shopping and cooking.

But if you’re thinking of hiring a housekeeper it helps to know what you can reasonably ask your housekeeper to do for you – so we asked the experts at Hummingbird Home Staff for some tips. Here are their dos and don’ts.

The dos – what you can ask the housekeeper to do

■ Full deep cleaning of the house including hoovering.

■ Laundry, bed-linen change overs and ironing. Putting away laundered items and taking any dry cleaning away to be processed.

Cleaning the kitchen cupboards and fridges, freezer, storage and larder.

■ Dealing with house plants and usually feeding the cat and letting the dog out.

■ Grocery shopping – either ordering on line or visiting the supermarket for the weekly shop, unpacking and putting away.

■ Emptying the bins and sorting out the recycling.

■ Loading and unloading the dishwasher.

■ Arranging for any servicing on home appliances or the boiler.

■ Waiting in and signing for packages and deliveries.

■ Cleaning out the fire and relaying a new one.


■ Sorting out the post.

■ Paying bills if needed.

Cooking a meal for the family.

The don’ts – what you can’t ask the housekeeper to do

 Signing for a large consignment of logs, then asking the housekeeper to remove them off the drive where they were deposited and taken down the garden to the log store.

 Cleaning out and hand washing the car.

 Cleaning out the shed or garage including moving heavy items like lawn mowers and DIY equipment.

 To paint and redecorate.

 To defrost the family’s cars in the morning.

 To shovel snow off the driveway and clear a path.

■ To wash the family dog

 Gardening including mowing the lawn and caring for patio furniture and play equipment.

 Putting up shelves, pictures or any DIY projects

 Wrapping all Christmas gifts and writing Christmas cards.

Hummingbird Home Staff is a Surrey-based business with more than 25 years of experience in matching nannies and housekeepers to homes around the UK.


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