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houekeeper - would you employ one?

(16 Posts)
halia Wed 13-Aug-08 10:31:05

not sure this is the right forum topic - will crosspost in housekeeping as well.

I am thinking ahead to when we move - I'll have to give up my current job and want something to fit round DS who will be starting school. I think with the move as well as new school he will need a bit extra support for a while, plus I'll have a house to renovate.
To go back into my career area would mean commuting and f/t out of school care for DS which I'd prefer to avoid. p/t work is likely to be harder to come by as its a small town. I would like to earn a bit of cash however.

So... I was thinking about self employed as a housekeeper - NOT a cleaner (alhtough I would do cleaning). From variuos threads on here plus my own experience of cleaners what seems to come across is that with kids you not only need someone to clean but to do things like pick up post, hang out washing, turn the oven on.

I know most people can't afford or want it f/t but maybe a few hours a week?

This is what I was thinking of - would you use it? (only very rough ideas at the moment)

Housekeeping service;

tired of spending time tidying before the cleaner arrives? need someone to feed the cat/walk the dog/water your plants? out all day and coming home to soaking wet clothes on the line? Run out of milk and nothing for tea again? guests arriving and need beds making up and rooms tidied?

I can do all this *as well as* light cleaning.

Flexible, local service. One offs, holiday pet/house sitting, regular weekly visits.

Discount for regular bookings, last minute emergancy calls for existing clients.

£8/hr standard rate, 2hrs minimum first booking. Existing customers can book 30 minute slots for pet feeding etc.

Available days 9am - 3pm, some evenings /weekends by arrangement.

eCRB, references

Example list for regular visit:
wash up breakfast things
take in post and sort out junk mail
empty and reline bins
put out/bring in bins/recycling for collection
feed pets
water hanging baskets
tidy/clean kitchen
tidy living areas
Hoover living areas
once a week clean/tidy bathroom

Examples of extra services (charged at usual rate)
Take library books back
pick up milk/bread/tea
take in supermarket order and put away
Drop parcel/letters off at post office
Walk dog
take recycling to local collection point

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Wed 13-Aug-08 10:34:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PussinWellies Wed 13-Aug-08 13:15:04

God yes. Where are you? How does tomorrow sound?

Gipfeli Wed 13-Aug-08 13:23:56

I would definitely like something like this. Cleaning I can manage, it's the other stuff in your extra services list (also include dropping stuff off at the dry cleaners/ shoe menders) that I struggle with.

Bink Wed 13-Aug-08 13:28:17

It sounds great - the really good bit is your obvious intelligence & initiative - as that is what is especially needed with someone doing this job. Yes please I say!

ilovemydog Wed 13-Aug-08 13:32:47

Great idea/service, but not sure I'd call it being a housekeeper....

More like a girl friday!

TheProvincialLady Wed 13-Aug-08 13:43:49

I agree, it doesn't sound like the housekeeper roles I know about, which do involve cleaning and sorting washing etc.

If it were me I would be worried about this sort of work drying up during the credit crunch/recession.

RubyRioja Wed 13-Aug-08 13:55:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

halia Wed 13-Aug-08 20:00:32

well I've no problem with doing the washing and some cleaning, it just struck me that what most parents seem to need is someone to do the tidying/sorting out of stuff first before cleaning can even take place.

I had cleaners in once and by the time I'd tidied beforehand I wasn't sure it had saved me that much time. I'm fine to mop the floor at the weekend and clean the bath but I hate comign in to unwashed dishes, junk mail cluttering up the hall and reasling yet again that I was too tired/busy to pick up a prescription or go via the library to take DS books back!

I agree though that girl friday might be a better bet for a job title! and yeah the bit about sexles wife - my partner actually said that. He says in any marraige with kids and 2 jobs whats needed is a third person to help run the house!.

Ok, it sounds like a plan. I'll do some checking out about insurance and stuff and get things in motion for when we move. Hey in the meantime if anyone is in East Yorks and wants to help me trial it then give me a buzz.

WestMidsAccounts Wed 13-Aug-08 20:33:50

Isn't the posh name for this a concierge service?

Can't you renew library books over the internet?
Being at home for plumbers etc who will only specify 'morning' (i.e. a 5 hour slot) would be useful.

Relist your for-instance examples eg is breakfast washing up really the most important thing?

WilfSell Wed 13-Aug-08 20:38:04

I would employ you perhaps. Would you consider adding in the following:

putting kids laundry in baskets (cos they bleeding well don't!)
filing and/or piling (household papers)
decluttering, sorting cupboards etc...

sure I could think of many many more jobs for someone like this...

overthemill Wed 13-Aug-08 21:33:27

i think this is a fab idea and one of teh ideas i ahd fopr my maybe new business as a cleaner. i'd thought already to add in 'errands' to my draft advert i've posted to see if there is any interest. waiting in for deliveries/dry cleaning etc.

my rich s in l has a housekeeper who works ( i think) 8 - 10 and then 3 - 6 who pretty much does this. she does extra in school hols. she gets £100 a week i think which doesnt ever seem enough to me!

she bakes their cakes, biscuits, makes the odd lasagne etc as well as doing bits of shopping, sorts out laundry and is around until school buses collect /drop off kids. not quite the same as you (I think) and makes sure they have milk/bread and does emrgency taking kids to dentist too!!!

so what a great idea, let us know how you do. my advice is get some refs ready to show people what you are like.

halia Thu 14-Aug-08 09:08:33

wilfsell, yep anything like that I'd do. Very happy to take on filing of papers etc and have finance experience but not sure everyone would want me doing that.

Westmidsaccounts; yes sort of like a concierge service, but more focused on everyday things - concierges tend to be for things like getting sold out theatre tickets and organising your trip to the maldives.

I know you can renew library books over the internet most of the time but sometimes you can't (ie if they've been recalled or or certian short loan items) plus eventually you've got to take them back! Its just suppoused to be an example of the type of daytime errands that can eb a pain to try and get round to when you are busy and are easy for someone like me to add into the work. I suppouse I could put dryclenaing - you can't send that over the internet. wink

I was going to say it was a cleaner plus, like an au pair plus, but I wanted to shift the focus away from simply cleaning. I can and will clean - but there's so many other things that need doing!

Who would you want to see refs from? I would be able to provide ones from my current employer and a testimonial from previuos employer.

overthemill Thu 14-Aug-08 10:26:58

i agree concierge sounds too posh but i would so love to say i had a housekeeper!

refs: from people who know you won't steal the silver, lose the key, are reliable, trustowrthy and conscientious i guess

peonyflower Sun 26-Oct-08 13:41:40

Just found this thread!I want to set up a small business along these lines and wondered if you had got it going yet?
Currently working part time as a paralegal and struggling to combine the expectation of working full time (around 55 hours a week)to qualify as a Solicitor with four DCs.
I think this is a fab idea but wonder if the current economic climate is right at the moment for it to really succeed.
I imagine that all the Solicitors at our firm could well be a good source of work though, just needs to be pitched at the right people at the right level and rates.

Would really like to know how you are getting on with it?

JudyAnn Sat 17-Jan-09 00:33:18

Hello --- Just came across your dialogue. I'm in Chicago and live near a very posh new "retirement" high-rise that just opened.

I'm getting ideas together to offer a service of girl-Friday kind of thing, a position paid by the organization.

I'd be on-staff and available by reservation by residents.

Have any of you ever heard of anything like this?

Happy 2009,

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