The smooth running of a household alongside the wishes of the homeowner is what a housekeeper excels at.
A good housekeeper provides the client with a wide variety of professional domestic services and takes on the responsibilities of cleaning, laundry, cooking and running errands. Each household is unique therefore the duties and responsibilities are discussed at interview stage.
A housekeeper cook will have the same responsibilities as a housekeeper but with the extra responsibility of preparing meals for the household and a keen interest in cooking.
They will take care of the house, ensuring that it is always clean, neat and tidy.
Special attention is paid to serving nutritious and healthy family meals and the more experienced cook would also be asked to prepare and cook for dinner parties and when the family are entertaining.
A versatile solution for many households, a houseman ensures the general upkeep of a home. A houseman will ensure the cleaning and maintenance is kept up together and offers continuity and flexibility.
There is an additional benefit of security if you employ a full-time houseman to work in the house during the day. Some may work alone within a private household while others work with other staff, including housekeepers, house managers, butlers and chefs.
Many housemen come from a military background, such as Ghurkhas. This means housemen are reliable, highly trained and diverse in their skill set.
A nanny housekeeper is required when duties involve the household and not just the children.
This position can either be on a ‘live-in’ basis or daily. The duties of a nanny housekeeper are wide-ranging, depending on the needs of the family, but in general, they involve:
- General household cleaning and tidying
- Laundry and ironing
- Cooking/help in the kitchen
- Driving (school run, supermarket)
- Errand running (post office, dry cleaning)
- Food shopping
Some full-time Housekeepers will work on a ‘live-in’ basis and are provided with a room and meals in addition to their weekly or monthly salary. Usually they will not have direct involvement with the children of the household, but every home is different, so flexibility is essential. As well as keeping the house clean and orderly, they may also be required to do food shopping and prepare family meals.
It is not uncommon for them to be entrusted with the keys to the household when the employer is not at home. This means they will be able to access the property to work or in case of an emergency.
There are a variety of titles for the role of housekeeper. For example:
Reliable and trustworthy housekeepers are always in demand and we help clients find excellent temporary, permanent or part time positions.
Typically housekeepers will ensure the house is always clean, neat, tidy and welcoming. They may also undertake some light outdoor duties such putting out rubbish for collection.
It is important that the homeowner’s wishes are clear from the outset as housekeeper duties can include:
- Preparing breakfast and cleaning kitchen and breakfast room
- Keeping refrigerator clean and discarding out-of-date items
- Cleaning the oven
- Tidying and cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas
- Cleaning unused rooms on a less frequent basis
- Polishing brass and silver, antiques and fine furniture
- Cleaning windows inside
- Collecting, washing, ironing and returning laundry to the appropriate place. Hand washing delicate items
- Managing the wardrobe
- Arranging dry-cleaning
- Answering door and telephone
- Feeding and exercising pets on a regular basis
- Keeping patios, pathways and steps clean and tidy
- Watering household plants and flower arranging
- Carrying out weekly grocery shopping
- Handling petty cash and debit cards
- Dealing with tradesmen, suppliers and contractors
- Managing security alarms
- Occasional babysitting
- Carrying out any other tasks that the employer may reasonably ask
Eden will reference check all their housekeepers, ensuring they hold a clear DBS record from the Criminal Records Bureau. We always recommend to all our clients that they speak to the referees themselves to ascertain the candidates’ ultimate suitability.
The salary range is typically from £400 – £500 net for a live in position or £450 -£550 for a live out position. Housekeepers are usually charged at the hourly rate of £10 – £15.
If you would further advice or information regarding employing a housekeeper, please speak to Laura Rock, Polly Lambert Karen Digby or any member of the private household team on 020 7471 6000.