Duties of a House Keeper

Updated on March 03, 2010
A.H. asks from Ohkay Owingeh, NM
14 answers

Hey Moms,
I hope that you can help me with a little problem. I am a full time student, a full time mother of two beautiful girls 8 and 4,and I have also started a full time business. So i went ahead and hired a housekeeper. I started her off at a fair price, now i think it is time to give her what she is asking for. But I want to know what all I can have her do. I want to get the most of my money and pay her what she wants. Right now she dusts my livingroom, vaccum, clean my kitchen, wash dishes, clean the stove, and clean my two bathrooms, toilets, tub, and sinks, and she just vaccums my bedroom. To me I think that this is not enough work for what she wants to get paid. What other duties can I have her do, for someone who is asking 12 dollars or more. I also am providing all the cleaning supplies, and i am at home all the time that she is here. Please if you can help.
Thanks ,
PS i pay her 12 an hour and she works on monday and thursday. It dont matter to me when she gets done, as long as it gets done.

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So What Happened?

Hi Moms,
Thanks for all the advice, well I had went in each room that i wanted clean, and from there I had let her know what was to be done and she had no problem with it. So it seems like it went very well. She said she actually likes working for me,YAY!

Featured Answers


answers from Indianapolis on

In today's economic world, $12 isn't a whole lot - it equates to $24K if she's doing it full time.

It sounds like she's doing a good amount. I'd agree that perhaps stripping and remaking beds would be a good task to throw in as well as mopping floors.

Perhaps she can help fold laundry. I'm really picky on that subject, so I personally wouldn't want someone to help, but that's my own personal hang-up (wouldn't even let my mother or MIL do it when I had my kids).

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answers from Boston on

Is this everyday??? 12 dollars an hour! what are her hours? You need to provide a list for her of daily duties, then a list of things that need to be done a few times a week. Such as dusting on Mon-Thur, baseboards once a month on a Fri, Floors and rungs on tues-thur, Bathrooms every other day. I think your getting away cheap with 12 dollars an hour. But I do not know the going rate where you live. Good luck!


answers from Kansas City on

clean windows, clean blinds pretty much any spring cleaning you want done I would have her do it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Does sound like plenty of work for a House Cleaner. Is she there everyday?

However, if she's a Housekeeper and not just a cleaner, you can probably ask her to do more..like organizing and decluttering. I think housekeepers clean and help keep the house organize. If she's just a Cleaner, then she can only just clean. It's not their job to declutter.

If yours is a housekeeper and is there everyday, there isn't that much dusting required all the time 'cause it doesn't get so dusty after just one day. So you can have her do other things by helping to keep your home organize too. But you have to set up your home to make it possible for her to keep it organize. It's not up to her to plan and decide where everything goes...

Some homes have so much paper clutter and toys that people don't ever know what to do, but don't seem to get rid of. It's not a Cleaner's job to organize, for example, a cluttered desk because where would she know to put them, and what if she moved them somewhere you can't find (she can only wipe it down wherever she can see - around the clutter)?

And it's not a Housekeeper's job to figure out how to organize your home. But if you already have a clear plan, and everything in your home has a place (toys have a place, books, unopened mail, clothes, dirty and clean.. then it's fair to walk her through it and tell her that she can help to put things back where they belong if she finds them out of place. i think Housekeepers can also do laundry, fold and put away laundry and make the beds.

you can also alternate chores for every other days, she can't possibly dust the same thing day after day, it takes 2 days to see dust start accumulate. But it takes only one day to get a kitchen messy. :) so decide on how you can plan out her week.



answers from Chicago on

Since you're paying her an hourly rate, any addition to her current duties will cost you more, since it'll take her longer to do her job. If you are willing to pay her more, I'd suggest that once a month you have her wash the windows and the baseboards, which both can be neglected. If she's not already doing so, the kitchen cleaning could include washing the exterior of the cabinets.


answers from Orlando on

Since you are paying her a little more than she will need more responsibilities.

I would have her make the beds, mop the kitchen and bathroom floors and do two loads of laundry (wash, dry, and fold them and have her put them on your bed) and take out the trash.

She can put a load of laundry in the washer and then go and
making the beds, making the beds only takes about 15 minutes or less to make all of the beds in the house. Then she can check on the laundry and if it is not done keep moving and if it is done put it in the dryer and add the 2nd load to the washer and then she can go and mop the floors. Then when she is done she can work with the laundry and take out the trash.

This will not be much more time or work added to her work that she is already doing, but when it is done it will make a world of difference for you and your family.

Remember, you do not need to feel bad for her working ~ this is her job and she is being paid to do it.

I wish you the best and have a wonderful day.

= )



answers from Charlotte on

Hi AJ,

Glad you have her - wish you would tell us how many hours she works!

Have her clean out your refrigerator and make the beds at the very least. The frig being clean is a huge bonus for the family, helping you save money on food and notice what's in the frig to eat up before it goes bad. All the bathrooms should be cleaned, including the one in your bedroom (if I'm understanding you right.) You can also have her dry clothes and fold them and hang them up for you and your kids.

It's fine to ask her to do extra work to fit in the amount of hours she is working. It's easier that you are there, so you see she is really doing the job.

Wish you lived near me - I'd job share with you! LOL!



answers from Tulsa on

We pay ours $20.00 an hour and she changes the sheets on our bed with the ones out of the dryer when it's done. She cleans the bathtub, toilet, and sink in our bathroom, and the floor. She wipes down the kitchen counter tops plus under the small appliances like the toaster, wipes down the stove top, wipes out the microwave, she mops with our Shark Steam Mop, and wipes out the fridge but I keep spills and old food taken care of, she also gathers the trash from all the small cans throughout the house. She cleans the tv screens and monitors with windex every week. She cleans the other 2 bathrooms once a month, and doesn't do anything with the kids beds but does vacuum their rooms once a month. She dusts once a month and that includes ceiling fan blades and picture frames.

So when she comes in she goes to our bedroom and does it, goes to the kitchen does it, then whichever other room/tasks she is doing she goes there. Then she gathers the trash and finishes by running the sweeper. It takes her about 2 hours to do it all.

I do all our laundry, dishes, cooking, wiping down leather furniture, any spills on the floors, in-between cleaning of the kids bathrooms and floors.

When I worked in Home Health we charged $13.00 an hour and were only allowed to do light housekeeping, that meant no climbing, no lifting, no cleaning cabinets out, nothing more than running the vacuum, doing a few dishes, changing the sheets, cleaning the bathroom, and helping with laundry which meant 1-2 loads, whatever cold be done in the time limit.



answers from Sherman on

I think she is doing plenty for $12 an hour! I pay my housekeeper $10/hour and that is what she is doing at our house. If she wants more pay then I would also have her strip beds and wash sheets/remake beds. Does he scrub floors as well?


answers from Indianapolis on

In today's economic world, $12 isn't a whole lot - it equates to $24K if she's doing it full time.

It sounds like she's doing a good amount. I'd agree that perhaps stripping and remaking beds would be a good task to throw in as well as mopping floors.

Perhaps she can help fold laundry. I'm really picky on that subject, so I personally wouldn't want someone to help, but that's my own personal hang-up (wouldn't even let my mother or MIL do it when I had my kids).



answers from Dallas on

I really don't think that $12 is all that much. If she gets paid by the hour and she stays busy the whole time, then how could you add more duties without adding how much you pay her? I think it would be different if she were getting paid by the job and then didn't do that much and left early.

I also pay our housekeeper $12 an hour, but she only works four hours. She gets done what she gets done in four hours. This is her set up, not mine. She doesn't do dishes, she doesn't clean the stove, she doesn't make up the bed, and she doesn't dust (!). She vacuums all the floors, "mops" if you count using a swiffer mopping, cleans the bathrooms, and that is it. I'd like her to do a lot more and I'd pay her more to do it, but she's not interested and I'm stuck with her because she's the mother of family friend. Oh, I also provide all the cleaning supplies and she uses my vacuum.

Now I used have The Cleaning Authority come. They were great. They brought their own supplies, own vacuum cleaner and everything. They did it all (including cleaning the frig once a month, dusting ceiling fans and blinds, made the bed) and they did a great job but it was $100 each time (plus taxes) and I was in a smaller house then than I am now.



answers from Kansas City on

Is she there every day? Once a week? 2-3-4 times a week? IN MY OPINION that does sound like a pretty light work load. My cleaning lady who just comes once a week, vacuums/dusts my bedroom, sitting room, living room dining room and kitchen. Cleans all aspects of 3 bathrooms. Dusts wood blinds, cleans my wood floors (which look amazing by the way and I have 2 teenagers and 2 big dogs) and polishes my stainless appliances in my kitchen. And occasionally does some windows too. She will do anything I ask, but she stays busy the whole 5 hours she's here.
Good Luck,
L. K


answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I'm really curious about the answers you get.

I just had paid a girl $75 to do a basic "wipe down" of our home... two bathrooms, vacuum, mop, clean kitchen, laundry. We have a large home, so I figured this was worth it... but now I'm figuring I paid too much. I am thinking that $12/hr is worth it, figuring that she will be there for about 3 - 4 hours. We are doing this once per month so I can keep up with tee ball, college classes, and everything else.

Good luck!



answers from New York on

If you feel that you need more jobs for her to do, here are some suggestions: She can change your linens, do your laundry, help clean out a closet, water your plants, clean your refrig once a week. If you give her too many chores, she much get cranky and leave! In addition, she can also play with your girls while you are either working or studying.
Hope this helps you a bit. Good luck!



answers from Peoria on

I used to clean houses and $12.00 and hour really isn't that much especially considering how much work you are already having her do. The only way she should do more is if you are paying her for extra hours to be there.

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