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Housekeepers

Larger homes and individuals with busy lives may require the assistance of a housekeeper to ensure the smooth running of their home. Whether it is keeping the property clean and in order, the fridge fully stocked, or overseeing the general domestic maintenance of the property, the housekeeper will use her many years’ experience of working within private homes to ensure her employers are living comfortably and able to focus their attention on their family and their enterprises.

Experience

Housekeepers registered with Staff of Distinction will have at 3-5 years’ experience working in a private household with references to support this.

Qualifications

In terms of qualifications, there isn’t one for housekeeping as such. Many gain their experience working in a private household and may have had hotel training.  Some will have taken a part-time course at a local college to improve their cooking or baking skills.

Live-in salaries

£500-£600 net per week for an 10-12 hour day

Live-out salaries

£12-£14 net per hour for an 8-10 hour day

Housekeeper Duties, Responsibilities & Skills

Duties can include all or most of the following depending on your requirements:

For the Home:

Clean, dust and polish furniture

Flower arranging

Clean and sanitise rooms throughout the house

Take care of antiques

Vacuum carpets and flooring

Clean brass and silverware

Arrange and replace flowers as and when required

Care for pets including dog walking

Check all internal and external doors/gates are locked

Set and unset the alarm systems

Distribute the household post

Prepare the house for guests

And in the Kitchen:

Assist the lady of the house/Chef with food preparation

Order food and provisions online

Dispose of all kitchen waste, both organic and recycling

Laundry and Wardrobe Care:

Launder and mend clothes

Launder and press shirts

Change and launder bedding

Launder and press table linen

Replace and sew on buttons

Clean and polish shoes

Take clothing to be dry cleaned

Take shoes to be mended

Various Errands and Responsibilities:

Run errands, shop and arrange refunds

Deal with deliveries and tradesmen

Call swimming pool maintenance company

Collect newspapers/journals

Arrange electrical appliance testing

Reporting any necessary repairs or replacements

Nationalities range from, but are not limited to British, Filipina, Portuguese, Eastern European and Brazilian.  All must have the relevant work visas to be able to register with our Agency.

Do be realistic about the size of your household, the duties you require and be mindful of how long is needed for food prep, cooking and serving. We can talk through your requirements and discuss the options open to you.

FAQ’s

Housekeeping refers to managing duties within the  household including the family and household laundry.  These duties are undertaken by a housekeeper who usually works alone to ensure the smooth running of the home, reporting directly to the Principal.

Housekeeper duties include making sure the household is fully stocked with food and cleaning provisions, and coordinating any servicing or maintenance that is needed around the home.

A housekeeper will clean and dust, vacuum, take care of antiques, polish silver and take care of fine crystal, create flower arrangements, and check the home security system.

The role will require getting the house ready for guests, ordering provisions for the family home, laundering household linen and the family’s clothing. The housekeeper will run errands, walk the dog and report any necessary repairs.  

As restrictions currently allow for those who cannot carry out their work from home to go into their workplace, housekeeping has not been affected in the same ways that others may have.

However some families have decided to pay for housekeepers to arrive by taxi, or have been asked to walk to work when possible. Regular testing is not uncommon and masks are worn within homes where the housekeeper or principal is uncomfortable otherwise, and gloves will be worn to handle shared surfaces and fabrics.

Extra disinfecting to maintain that the household is as germ free/covid free as possible is essential, which is now likely to include disinfecting shopping bags and any post or packages received and deep cleans of shared spaces on a more regular basis. Anti-bacterial spray at the ready!

Housekeepers need to be highly organised, motivated and efficient with an acute understanding of how to run a home. Housekeeping requires a candidate to be very active and capable of keeping a household thoroughly clean and orderly throughout as well as displaying the utmost discretion. All clients are private individuals who expect to employ someone who is trustworthy and who values their privacy. 

Housekeepers must use their common sense to notify the principal of matters when necessary and solve problems on their own when they can in order to alleviate the strain that owning a home can have on the principal.

Housekeepers must be aware of the type of home that their skill set is best suited to, whilst some housekeepers prefer a small intimate household without any pets while another may prefer to oversee the running of a grand country home. It is crucial that a housekeeper discusses his/her preferences during their early conversations with their recruitment consultant.

Not only will a housekeeper take care of the laundry, but they will also be responsible for mending, ironing and organising it. That is unless the principal requests otherwise as some Principals prefer to organise their closets themselves. The housekeeper will take delicate items to a dry cleaning professional as well as any items that they cannot mend themselves. 

Whilst there are no rules per say, discretion, and directions on how the client prefers the home to be run or chores performed are expected. With that said, of course there will be rules for those housekeepers who live-in i.e. no guests within the home, the alarm setting times, and expectations of shared living space.

For those housekeepers who offer a combined discipline such as housekeeper/nanny, there will need to be clear outlines from the outset regarding how their time must be divided.

Housekeeping Career

A housekeeper is an extremely well respected role in the domestic staffing industry, with a long and rich history. It is housekeepers who keep some of the finest homes across the country, and indeed the world running to their full potential whilst alleviating the stress on their Principals in the process. 

Many housekeepers remain within the same household for many years and are the backbone to a smoothly run home. Nobody wants to lose an incredible housekeeper, so if you find one, be quick! 

Whilst housekeepers on our register must have at least 3+ years’ experience of working as a housekeeper in a private home, if you are an expert at organising, cleaning and take pride in running a household to the highest possible standards, then housekeeping may be the career for you.

If you dream of a family relying on you to ensure the smooth running of their home then one way to start your career as a housekeeper is by working in a 5 Star hotel as a cleaner, housekeeper or porter before moving across into private household work. Once you gain 3 years under your belt you can then get in touch with us! 

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

John Wesley

 

“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.”                                  

Marie Kondo

Other Housekeeper Roles

Depending on the size of your household, a Housekeeper may be able to combine her duties  with another discipline such as cooking or childcare but this comes with a caveat. That is to say, if asked if we can place a HK/Cook/Nanny, we find that, firstly they will have to juggle three disciplines, and secondly, those who are excellent at all three will command a higher salary. A HK who is a good solid Cook can supervise older children, in that she can be in the household at the same time while the parents are out, but she won’t be a specialist nanny or have the time to assist with homework. If you are keen to combine all three disciplines, we would recommend that you consider the role as being described as HK/Family Cook/occasional childcare to include babysitting which emphasises the role’s priority.

Head Housekeeper

A Head Housekeeper will have a minimum of  5+ years’ experience in a similar position and will perform their duties with meticulous attention to detail.  She will, however, take on a more senior role and is likely to oversee a team of Housekeepers, ensuring their duties are discharged properly and that they fulfil their roles, with method, skill and timeliness. It will be the Head Housekeeper’s responsibility to coordinate the welfare, training and payroll of domestic staff. The Head Housekeeper could possibly undertake the school runs for children aged 5 years and older but this should be discussed with your consultant when giving the job spec.

Housekeeper/Cook

Depending on your household, you may wish to employ a Housekeeper who can cook. They range from those who can provide plain/simple dishes and/or family cooking to Dinner Party standard.  We have placed HK/Cooks who can cook to a high culinary standard for up to 8 while others can turn their hand to Formal Dinner Parties for 10 and hot/cold buffets for 16.

Duties may include general Housekeeping duties as listed above along with the following:

Light simple/plain meals

Good family fare

Food preparation (assisting mother or the Cook/Chef)

Dinner party/Event cooking

Preparing and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Clearing away, tidying and cleaning the kitchen and rooms where food is served.

Presenting menus for approval and discussing daily requirements with employer, house manager or butler.

Undertaking the grocery shopping and maintaining accounts and budgets

Placing orders for kitchen supplies

Maintaining stock control

Ensuring refrigerator is clean and out-of-date items discarded

Housekeeping Fascinating Fact

By the 1850’s one in 3 females between the age of 15-20 were working in domestic service

Staff

Housekeeper/Nanny

Housekeeping duties combined with childcare.  This is a super option for a family who wishes to have one member of staff who is a good all-rounder with the house and who will also help look after children. This largely depends on the size of the house, number of children and their ages and the parents’ day to day routine. Some families employ a daily Housekeeper who may do the heavy cleaning once or twice a week to assist. 

Sole and shared childcare and babysitting

Cooking nutritious meals for their charges 

Supervise/assist with homework

School runs if she drives 

Before you begin your search, it is incredibly important to discuss your primary expectations with your consultant. For younger children, you may feel that the primary focus will be childcare with a little housekeeping on the side, whereas for school aged children the main role may be the Housekeeping.

Housekeeper/Companion

Housekeepers who can accompany or drive their employer to various appointments and events, travel with and generally assist with everyday living for the employer to enjoy independent living in the comfort of their own home.

Assist with everyday tasks and provide companionship

Shopping for weekly essentials and running general errands

Accompanying on special and regular outings

Cooking and sharing meals

Light domestic support such as cleaning, laundry, care of pets

Light gardening duties

Participating in hobbies and crafts

Helping with travel arrangements and accompanying to appointments

Assisting with correspondence and paperwork

Housekeeper/Family PA

Housekeeping combined with organised and efficient administration skills. Our Family PA’s will run the family’s diary both social and for the individual childrens’ school. Keeping on top of your childrens’ school appointments and events. This position could include the school runs driving children to school and back and your consultant will help you iron out the details.

Booking appointments

Arranging couriers, travel and childcare

Be computer literate including Excel

Managing calendar

Running errands

Use initiative, read the needs of the family’s requirements in advance

Wardrobe and vanity care

Take care of pets

If you are unsure of the type of person that would suit your household, do telephone us on 01225 484 190 and we will talk through your requirements and discuss the sort of candidate that would fit into your household and their salary expectations.

Latest Housekeeper Jobs

Location:
Berkshire
Salary:
£30kgpa - £34kgpa
Start Date:
June/July 2021

Live-in housekeeper sought for a beautiful newly renovated home in a village near Newbury, Berkshire. The part time residence is home to a couple. They have grown up children, and young grandchildren who sometimes visit over weekends too. The housekeeper must be a confident cook, to cook traditional, simple meals such as roast dinners and to cater for up to 8 people if the couple entertain family and friends. Household duties include cleaning (alongside part-time cleaner), laundry, little ironing, grocery shopping, liaising with tradespeople, and looking after the employers 3 dogs and cat when they are in London. PA of 18 years recommends role! Full time Gardner also employed. The busiest time is over the weekend, but then the role is more quiet during the week. It is an informal home and fairly relaxed. The working week will be 5 days, working 7:30am – 4:30pm including 3 out of 4 weekends a month. 2 days given off during the week and an hour each day for lunch. The housekeeper will have one weekend off per month. A driver is essential for this role due to the rural location, and an automatic car can be provided. The salary on offer is £30kgpa – £34kgpa and a 1 bedroom flat with own entrance is provided (utilities paid). Interviews to commence ASAP for a June/ July start.

Ref no: J36679

Location:
Marylebone
Salary:
£13phn - £15phn (up to £42,635gpa)
Start Date:
July/August

Wonderful return client of Staff of Distinction seek a Daily Housekeeper in Marylebone. Home to a lovely family of 3, including B1 years. A full time Nanny is employed to care for the little boy. Role duties will include cleaning and organising the 3 bedroom apartment, carrying out laundry, food shopping, running light errands and cooking a simple meal 3 times a week for the principles. The ideal candidate will be detailed orientated, warm and proactive. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to secure a long term role! Hours Monday – Friday 12noon-8pm. Flexibility to work one weekend a month at their country home would be appreciated, time off given in lieu. Salary: £13phn – £15phn (up to £42,635gpa). A driver is preferable but not essential. Interviews to commence ASAP for a July/ August start.

Ref no: J36657

Location:
East Sussex
Salary:
Up to £35kgpa
Start Date:
ASAP

Superb opportunity for an organised and outgoing Daily Housekeeper in Wadhurst, East Sussex (TN5) . The large property is home to a professional couple. Daily duties will include carrying out all cleaning, laundry (bed linen is outsourced), online food orders, handling deliveries and running of ad hoc errands. The chosen candidate must be active and a driver. This position would suit someone who is looking for an exciting and long term opportunity. Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. Interviews to commence right away for a soon as possible start. Salary: up to £35kgpa dependent on experience.

Ref no: J36647

Location:
Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Salary:
Live in: from £500pwn/£34,510gpa or Live out: £12phn/ £42,635gpa.
Start Date:
ASAP

Live in or Daily Housekeeper/family Cook sought for property in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. The property is comprised of 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and is home to a family of 6 with four children aged between 15 and 21 and 2 dogs. The family also employ a housekeeper, domestic couple and gardener so ideal candidate will be a good team player, happy to muck in where needed. Duties to include general housekeeping, cleaning, laundry, dog walking and basic family cooking. You may be required to help with the school run on occasion. Driver essential with car provided on duty. For live in candidates, accommodation provided is a private annex with bedroom, bathroom, lounge and kitchen. Working Mon-Fri 9am-7pm. ASAP start. Salary for live in: from £500pwn/£34,510gpa or live out: £12phn/ £42,635gpa.

Ref no: J36633

Location:
Wimborne, Dorset
Salary:
£12phn/ £34,510kgpa
Start Date:
ASAP

Daily Housekeeper sought for loving and down to earth family in Dorset, BH21, with two children aged 5 (G) and 18 months (G). The role will be approximately 70% housekeeping and 30% helping out with some child care duties. The ideal candidate will be professional, friendly, kind, willing and organised. The candidate should be able to do all housekeeping duties including cleaning, laundry and ironing and some child-minding. The eldest is at school and the youngest naps twice during the day. Healthy, family cooking required. Driver essential. Hours: 9am – 5pm either 4 or 5 days a week, to suit the candidate. There will be an option for extra babysitting hours on weekends and evenings and agreed in advance. Role to commence as soon as the right candidate is found. Salary of £12phn/ £34,510kgpa on offer.

Ref no: J36631

Location:
Kensington
Salary:
£650pwn
Start Date:
ASAP

Daily Housekeeper/Cook sought in Kensington. Property is home to a single HNW principle. The principles 3 children visit every other week and two Nannies are employed. Role duties will include reporting to a head housekeeper and completing all cleaning, polishing, laundry, maintaining the house, dealing with contractors and serving at dinner parties. Light cooking also required. The ideal candidate will have VIP experience, attention to detail and be flexible. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to secure a long term role in a busy household. Hours: Monday – Friday 50-55 hours per week, with flexibility to work occasional weekends, with time off during the week. Salary: £650pwn, two performance related bonuses each year. Interviews to commence right away for an ASAP start.

Ref no: J36565

Location:
Denham, Uxbridge
Salary:
£32,000gpa
Start Date:
PLACED

NOW PLACED BY STAFF OF DISTINCTION

Daily Housekeeper sought in Denham, Uxbridge. Large property and home to a couple. Typical duties will include cleaning, laundry and antique care. A full time chef is employed, however on their day off, you may be required to heat up a meal or prepare something light. The principles have a second property in central London; the chosen candidate may also be required to work there for 1 day each week. The chosen candidate will be extremely proactive and have good initiative. Hours: Monday – Friday, 35-40 hours per week. Due to the location of the property, a driver would be a huge bonus. Role to commence ASAP. Salary: £32,000gpa.

Ref no: J36559

Location:
Sandhurst, Berkshire
Salary:
£30kgpa
Start Date:
PLACED

NOW PLACED BY STAFF OF DISTINCTION

Live in Housekeeper sought in Sandhurst, Berkshire. The large, part time residence is home to a couple whom tend to visit for 10 days each month. Role duties will include; laundry, ironing, general cleaning, some maintenance when required and arranging of contractors. This is a relaxed house household and the principles are very informal. The current Housekeeper has been employed for an impressive 15 years! This position would suit an individual who is independent, happy to work mainly on their own, is proactive and a great all-rounder. A one bedroom flat with its own entrance will be provided with all bills included. Weekend gardeners are employed. Due to the location, a driver is essential. Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. Salary: £30,000gpa. Interviews to commence right away for an ASAP start.

Ref no: J36551

Location:
Devon
Salary:
Up to £35kgpa
Start Date:
PLACED

NOW PLACED BY STAFF OF DISTINCTION

Experienced and loyal live in Housekeeper sought to maintain a large 9 bedroom family home in North Devon. Well staffed estate situated in a rural location. All housekeeping duties required, ensuring that the house is kept to a consistently 5* standard. Running local errands, shopping, house security, washing, ironing, wardrobe management (ensuring everything is well organised and tidy), on occasions looking after and entertaining the 3 children (all of school age). Child and pet friendly essential (family have 4 dogs). The chosen candidate must be motivated in their work and enjoy keeping the residence in a pristine and very organised condition. A good team spirit is required and so is knowledge of how to care for fine furniture. Hours: Thursday – Monday (9am – 6pm, with 1 hour for lunch). Accommodation: separate and spacious one bedroomed apartment (all bills included). Driver required, car provided whilst on duty. Role to commence as soon as the right person has been found. Salary: up to £35,000gpa.

Ref no: J36260

Location:
Mayfair, London
Salary:
£15phn
Start Date:
PLACED

NOW PLACED BY STAFF OF DISTINCTION

Requirements and Duties:
• 5 bedroom property with 3 children
• General Housekeeping
• Family cooking
• Wardrobe management
• Care of fine and delicate fabrics
• Fully staffed home so must be flexible and willing to work as part of a team

Working hours:
• 8am – 1/2pm
• Monday – Friday
• Must be flexible

Salary and start date:
• ASAP
• £15phn

Job ref: J36308AD