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Where to find that perfect housekeeper...?

(55 Posts)
Beeste Sat 27-Jun-15 15:00:16

We had a wonderful, reliable, gold hearted, indefatigable, intelligent housekeeper last year. Then we moved house and have since had a series of agency supplied workshy no hopers. Supermarkets won't allow advertising any more and job sites seem to attract people with no common sense or reliability.
If you have a great housekeeper, where did you get them? Does anyone have any tips for finding and/or selecting out that special Mary-Poppinsesque addition to the household who considers £9 per hour over-generous for domestic cleaning? Word of mouth is not helpful as we've only just moved here and I don't really like to ask at work as we like to keep work and home separate ("...and you know what else I found: they had lubricant and a selection of huge knobbly pink rubber things...and worst of all sob, gasp ticket stubs from Center Parcs" - you get the picture.)
If location is helpful we're south of Coventry.
Many thanks

PS: SO's advice so far has amounted to: "basically if you want Mary Poppins, you're going to have to give up all that kinky sh1t."
A line that was, coincidentally, dropped from the Disney adaption of the original EL James novel...grin

Finola1step Sat 27-Jun-15 15:02:48

I think you may need to revisit the £9 an hour.

gamerchick Sat 27-Jun-15 15:03:41

9 quid an hour? is that in total or what they walk away with?

AdventureBe Sat 27-Jun-15 15:06:16

Do you mean a cleaner, or a real housekeeper?

I use a cleaning company because all the problems you describe are someone else's. They bring all thier own equipment and cleaning products, if I don't like their work the company has to make sure it improves or send someone else, sickness and holidays are covered.

I pay closer to £20 p/hr than £9p/hr though.

paxtecum Sat 27-Jun-15 15:09:39

We have an agency cleaner at work.
She costs £12.50 plus Vat per hour.

AdventureBe Sat 27-Jun-15 15:41:16

TBH, I'm not sure I want to live in a world where "wonderful, reliable, gold hearted, indefatigable, intelligent" is only worth £9 per hour, less travelling time and expenses.

Beeste Sat 27-Jun-15 16:50:56

Well, cleaning jobs advertised here on Mumsnet are offered at £7.50 to £8 per hour, so £9 doesn't seem exactly Dickensian. For £20 per hour in an unskilled labour job I'd expect quasi-supernatural performance! Maybe not in Chelsea though.

Beeste Sat 27-Jun-15 16:53:09

I should add £9 per hour net but no "travel allowance"

timefortiggy Sat 27-Jun-15 16:57:36

Downton abbey??

gamerchick Sat 27-Jun-15 17:04:08

Well what are you looking for a cleaner or a housekeeper? What kind of work are you looking at?

meeps Sat 27-Jun-15 17:06:03

The Lady magazine? I think I got my old housekeeping job from a nanny agency, that was 5hrs a day @ £8ph 15 years ago. I like the sound of your job!

ChipsOnChips Sat 27-Jun-15 17:18:40

First, a housekeeper is not unskilled.

Second if you want someone to do your grocery shopping, plan meals, organise laundry, collect dry cleaning, book appointments and deal with household admin they're going to cost you a lot more than £9 an hour.

AdventureBe Sat 27-Jun-15 17:20:17

Doesn't really matter what you expect for the price, if you can't find what you want, at the price you want to pay you either have to go without or pay more. Whether it's help, shoes or a holiday.

ChipsOnChips Sat 27-Jun-15 17:21:09

My nanny/housekeeper earns 36k + health insurance, + 10% bonus.

She works FT and doesn't clean

ChipsOnChips Sat 27-Jun-15 17:22:48

And when I say she works I actually mean she is paid FT - she has a lot of free time whilst DCs are at school.

DoItTooJulia Sat 27-Jun-15 17:33:47

£9 ph net means the op presumably will employ them properly and pay NI and PAYE tax. £9 ph net isn't too bad, but you'll struggle to find the right person on that I imagine.

The Lady is the place to advertise.

Beeste Sat 27-Jun-15 19:27:06

OK, yes it sounds like I'm looking for a domestic cleaner and laundry person rather than a full on executive house manager. I think perhaps using the term housekeeper sounds more egalitarian to assuage my middle class guilt for wanting someone else to wash my socks for only £9 ph net.

I just want someone to do the domestic tasks that I would do were I not working hard at the factory forcing orphans to print T shirts with pithy pro-feminist phrases. You can get shedloads of gruel for £9 and still have enough for a copy of the Daily Mail!!

No offence but I'm surprised that Mumsnetters appear simultaneously availed of £30k-£40k pa spare disposable income and perhaps paradoxically so keen on rates of pay of 2-3 times minimum wage for unskilled labour (OK, it is possible to describe using a brush and dustpan or washing dishes as a skill I grant you but it's as close to rudimentary as learning to brush your own hair for your average adult.)
I guess I hadn't examined what I was expecting so, um, I guess it's nice to be surprised. :-)

Thanks for all the suggestions.

downgraded Sat 27-Jun-15 19:32:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Piratespoo Sat 27-Jun-15 19:43:50

I pay my cleaner £11 per hour. What exactly are you expecting? And why don't you advertise on gumtree? Loads of adverts like that.

expatinscotland Sat 27-Jun-15 19:50:29


Not at all funny, either.

gamerchick Sat 27-Jun-15 19:50:53

Domestic cleaners don't do laundry though do they?

It sounds as if you're expecting an awful lot because you look down on it.

Hire a cleaner and do your own laundry, jobs a good un.

Beeste Sat 27-Jun-15 19:57:18

Tried Gumtree, not been successful in past though. I was expecting suggestions like, go to local pub and ask cleaners there etc.

There's like loads of aggression here isn't there? I was kidding about the t shirts, honestly. In truth I'm vehemently against almost all forms of forced child labour.

The "Mums" of Mumsnet are not all the welcoming, inclusive, egalitarian, well humored, classless crowd I was expecting. Much tougher with extremely high standards. Like they say "expectation is the mother of all sorrows..."

expatinscotland Sat 27-Jun-15 19:59:16


paxtecum Sat 27-Jun-15 20:31:07

Are you ok?

downgraded Sat 27-Jun-15 20:32:36

No we're not like that at all Beeste.

We're a right bunch of cunts.

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