In a perfect world, everyone would have a clean home, and no one would need a housekeeper. However, some people are simply too busy to organize their personal items and require outside help to eliminate the mess. With a good housekeeper, your home can be nice and tidy in no time.
But before you hire a cleaning crew, there are some things you should keep in mind. From the way that you treat them to the private things they learn about you and your family’s lives, here are some secrets your housekeeper doesn’t want you to know…
Your Annoying Habits Are Obvious
People do all sorts of things in the comfort of their own homes. Many of these things they wouldn’t dare do in public, but they feel secure enough to do so at home, and your house cleaner can see it. This can involve gross habits to simply annoying ones.
For example, a housekeeper may find fingernail clippings all over the place, which means you don’t mind cutting your nails in the living room. Or they may see how you perpetually leave dirty clothing and towels on the floor instead of in the hamper. Or maybe you miss the toilet when you’re doing number one.
Your Diet Is Easy To Determine
In addition to what you keep in your refrigerator, a house cleaner can learn a lot about a home owner’s diet simply by looking in their pantry. If it’s full of high-end products and exotic herbs and spices, then the occupant may be a bit of a foodie. If there are a lot of pricey adult beverages in the house, it’s another indication that the homeowner has a penchant for the finer things in life.
Of course, if there’s not a lot of food in the house, it shows the person doesn’t cook much at home, and if there’s a lot of chips and junk food on the counter, it can signal the client has a poor diet.
Your Love Life (Or Lack Of It) Is On Full Display
Certain things you leave around the house can indicate whether you’re getting intimate with a partner several nights a week or haven’t had relations with anyone in a really long time. Some of the clues are obvious: the sheets may be particularly dirty or messed up. The bathroom trash bin will also supply clues.
Housekeepers can sometimes tell if a homeowner is having an affair even when his or her partner isn’t. So if you’re being indiscreet, be aware that your house cleaner may have some serious gossip on you.
Many Take Pride In Their Work
Never disregard the work that a housekeeper does. Even though it may not be the profession that you chose to do, it doesn’t mean that it’s a menial job. Many house cleaners take a lot of pride in their work and don’t see it as merely a stepping stone for another job.
Some house cleaners spend many years in their profession and are really good at cleaning and organizing homes. And it’s not uncommon for some of them to love their jobs.
They Know If You’re Struggling With A Work/Life Balance
Cleaning staff can also determine how your work/life balance is going simply by looking at how you take care of your home. Obvious signs that things are awry include loads of unwashed laundry, dust bunnies all over the place, and/or a litter box that has gone from stinky to disgusting.
While many people are messy, if your home is particularly dirty and disorganized it says a lot about your mental state and your lack of control over some of the things in your life.
They’ve Seen Houses That Are Much Worse Than Yours
Some people are embarrassed when they first hire a housekeeper because they feel that their home is way too messy. However, some house cleaners have been in the business so long that they’ve seen it all. Your dirty kitchen floor is nothing compared to some of the disasters they’ve come across over the years.
Cleaning staff have encountered human excrement on the floor, for example. But don’t expect them to clean everything. Many professional cleaners have their limits and will only go so far to make a home look nice and fresh.
They Recognize Your Financial Situation (And Know When You’re In Debt)
Housekeepers have a pretty good idea about your income bracket, and it doesn’t only have to do with the size of your house. For example, they usually know if you’re in debt. Messy, disorganized, and cluttered homes often indicate that the homeowner is living paycheck to paycheck.
Another sign of debt is piles of unopened mail except for one from the credit card company. On the other hand, homes that have brand-new electronics, lots of designer clothes in the closet, and fancy artwork on the walls generally indicates that the owner is well off.
They Appreciate A Little Pre-Visit Clean Up
Obviously, you hire a house cleaner because you don’t have the time to do the job yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you leave everything scattered everywhere and every dirty pot imaginable in the kitchen sink. There’s something to be said for having the courtesy of picking up a few things before the cleaning staff arrives.
This is particularly important if you have toys or things you don’t want someone to touch or clean. Instead of leaving it out, put it in a closet or storage box.
Some Clients Are Very, Very Particular
While professional housekeepers are pretty good at their jobs, that doesn’t mean there aren’t clients who try to micromanage them. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to ask the staff to use very specific cleaning products and detergents. After all, not everyone likes the smell of industrial cleaners.
Some homeowners even provide step-by-step instructions for cleaning their homes. So the next time you feel a little shy about requesting a particular cleaning agent, remember that there are other people out there who are way bigger control freaks than you are.
Yes, You Should Tip Them
While you may pay upfront for a house cleaner’s services, don’t forget to give them a tip. That doesn’t mean you throw them a few bucks every now and then. If they work hard to clean your home, you should show them your appreciation with a little extra cash.
This is particularly true if you ask for more tasks than usual or your home is dirtier than it typically is. And when the holidays roll around, a little bonus is always appreciated.
Most Aren’t Interested In Snooping
While house cleaners learn a lot about their clients simply by walking through the door, most aren’t really interested in snooping. Why? They just want to do their jobs and get things done. Most of them are hardworking individuals who would never think of spying on their clients.
It can take a lot of time for a housekeeper to clean and organize a person’s home. And while they may learn things about the homeowner in the process, most aren’t purposely looking for “dirt” on their clients. No pun intended.
Your Pet’s Needs Are Not Part Of The Package…
While a house cleaner may empty the litter box, straighten a pile of dog toys, and vacuum pet hair off of the sofa, the animals themselves are not their responsibility. It’s not uncommon for clients to assume that a housekeeper will take care of their pets when they stop by.
However, cleaners are there to clean the house, not feed the dog, let it outside, or take it for a walk. If you want a pet sitter, then you have to hire someone separately.
….And It’s Frustrating If A Pet Is Not Mentioned
One of a housekeeper’s pet peeves is walking into a home and discovering that there is a pet there that they did not know about. While many people love pets, it’s a good idea to give the cleaner a heads up if you have one or get a new one. Some people are allergic to certain animals, for example, and they need to be prepared.
Also, some pets may not take well to a stranger coming into their home. It’s helpful if a client lets the cleaner know about their animals in advance when they set up an appointment.
It’s Also Annoying If Guests Aren’t Mentioned
The one thing you should never do is keep an appointment with a house cleaner and neglect to mention that you have a guest in the home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long-lost sibling or mother-in-law who’s visiting — just make sure to let the staff know. That way, they don’t surprise anyone when they unlock the door.
Also, extra company can equal more work. The job may take the cleaner a little bit longer than usual, and they need to plan for that ahead of time.
Many Clients Talk To Housekeepers Like They’re Therapists
If your housekeeper visits regularly while you’re at home, you may strike up a friendship and bond over day-to-day things. Some people feel so comfortable with the house cleaner that they spill their intimate thoughts to her. And while they may feel close to the housekeeper, that doesn’t mean they should expect them to act as a therapist.
The problem is that the cleaner has a job to do, and that doesn’t involve talk therapy. Plus, it can blur the lines between the client and employee relationship.
The Less Often You Clean Your Home, The More It Will Cost
Some homeowners think that they will save money by having a house cleaner only come a few times a year. However, it’s typically the exact opposite. Just think about what your bathroom looks like when it’s not cleaned for one month compared to six months. As time passes, grime builds up.
Over time, dust, pet hair, and dirt accumulate. As a result, your home will require a lot more elbow grease to get things clean. This can double your bill (or even more).
They Are Not Servants
Some people hire house cleaning staff and don’t treat them very well. Even if that person scrubs your toilets, that doesn’t mean they have to wait on you hand and foot. Still, some homeowners hire a housekeeper and expect him or her to do everything they ask in the allotted time they paid for.
Just because a house cleaner has been paid for a few hours of work doesn’t mean he or she has to do everything the client requests.
Discretion Is A Priority
As you can imagine, housekeepers come across many things over the course of their career. But just because they don’t talk about some of the things they see in your home doesn’t mean they haven’t noticed it. They want to keep their jobs, so they will be discreet about unpaid bills, adult toys, or signs of infidelity.
House cleaners are professionals who will avoid awkward conversations with their clients. They do so for ethical reasons and because their job is to clean the home. They don’t need to discuss personal matters with the homeowners.
They Don’t Like It When You’re Breathing Down Their Necks
Some people prefer to be home when a housekeeper comes to organize and clean their abode. In general, that’s not a problem for most house cleaners. However, it can get frustrating if someone is in the way when they’re are trying to do their work.
It can be particularly distracting if a client stands in the same room as the housekeeper is doing his or her work. No one likes anyone breathing down their neck when they’re simply trying to finish a task.
They’re Used To Being Harassed
We probably don’t need to point this out, but housekeepers and house cleaners traditionally have tended to be women. As such, they aren’t always treated well by homeowners, and harassment isn’t uncommon in the industry. Most housekeepers have heard references to French maid outfits, for example.
Even if you’re just kidding, these crude maid references aren’t appropriate. House cleaners are not there to be heckled or the object of dirty jokes. They’re being paid for a specific service and deserve to be treated with respect.