2.0 Your Role as a Housekeeper
2.1 HOUSEKEEPING ROLE - CORE ASPECTS
Remember that our clients employ us to take care of three key aspects:
- Cleaning: Involves sanitising and deodorising surfaces.
- Tidying: Putting items back in the locations in which they belong.
- Laundry: Gathering, sorting, washing, drying and ironing of general household laundry.
2.2 HOUSEKEEPING ROLE - STRUCTURING YOUR SESSION
Being a high quality housekeeper means that you need to plan your sessions in advance, not simply meander through each room. You need to structure your session around several important factors:
- Daily Tasks : Everyday cleaning, tidying and laundry that must be done each time you attend the home
- A Detail Task: One job that is not done every time you work—for example, cleaning the fridge, cleaning the oven, and sorting wardrobes.
- Writing a note to the client & exit on time, taking the rubbish out with you
2.3 SESSION SCOPE
A session scope is where you walk around the house and plan how you're going to spend your time. When you first arrive in the home you should plan your session by undertaking an initial scope of the home. This means that you should walk through each room of the home to ensure that you understand how much cleaning, tidying and sorting will be required for that session.
Your Session Scope should include:
- Picking up dirty laundry
- Stripping beds that need changing
- Gathering any dirty dishes
By the end of the session, scope you should be ready to put a load into the dishwasher, a load into the washing machine, and be ready to get started with the required cleaning.
2.4 ROOM-BY-ROOM CHECKLIST
During your session, you should always focus on one room at a time. Constantly leaving
rooms to put items away is distracting to your work and an inefficient way of working. Here
are the steps that you should follow:
- Assemble the cleaning kit (detailed in 2.5 below)
- Tidy the room and empty the bin into your bin bag
- Dust ceilings and light fittings
- Dust walls and all horizontal surfaces.
- LIFT UP items on tables and DUST UNDER them. (This is something clients expect and comment on.)
- Clean light fixtures, window sills, handles and light switches
- Clean furniture (make beds or change beds)
- Refill flowers and spray a room freshener
- Close the door behind you
Once you start in a room you should not move into another area until you have finished all of the tasks required in that room. Items that need to be tidied or put into another room should be left by the door.
Always remember to check washing loads between rooms.
At the end of your session, you will vacuum and mop all of the floors in the house. This should not be done as you work. Save it until the end.
2.5 CLEANING KIT
A cleaning kit includes the tools and products you will need to do your work in a client's home. The best practice is to carry a little product toolbox with you; this can be in a bucket or a bin. The kit is to be assembled each time you begin your work and unpacked at the conclusion of the session.
Items to include in your cleaning kit:
- Several clean cloths for different surfaces
- Paper towel or a disposable cloth for dirty surfaces
- A general purpose surface disinfectant (e.g. vinegar and water)
- A high shine window cleaner (diluted methylated spirits is the best)
- A “grabbit” duster
- A grout brush or toothbrush
- A Chux magic eraser pad for use on walls, powerpoints and showers
- Bin liners
At the end of your session, you will need a:
- Clean, dry and easy-to-use mop
- Vacuum cleaner
2.6 SAMPLE SESSION PLAN
This is a good outline of an efficient housekeeping session. Please note that this checklist assumes that you have already completed a Session Scope.