How to become a housekeeper

Here are tips to prepare for a career in housekeeping.

Get started as a housekeeper

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Housekeeping is an important profession. As a housekeeper, you ensure a space is always clean and well-kept for its occupants, be it hotel guests or your employers. On top of cleaning, some housekeepers even juggle cooking, doing laundry, and running errands. 

Are you up for the challenge and wondering how to become a housekeeper? Read on for tips to get started in housekeeping.  

What does a housekeeper do? 

A housekeeper’s duties vary depending on the arrangement with the employer and the type of work (e.g., residential or hotel). But here are the most common responsibilities of a housekeeper: 

Cleaning and tidying up 

  • Basic house cleaning tasks, such as sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming 
  • Wiping down and polishing furniture as needed 
  • Organizing a space and suggesting storage options 

Other regular housekeeping tasks

  • Washing the dishes 
  • Changing bed sheets 
  • Taking out the garbage 
  • Cooking and preparing meals  
  • Washing, drying, and ironing clothes   
  • Caring for household pets or plants as needed 
  • Running errands such as grocery shopping, dropping off dry cleaning, and receiving packages  

Hotel housekeeping tasks 

  • Preparing a hotel room for the next guests 
  • Restocking hotel toiletries
  • Replacing hotel linen, towels, and robes

What qualifications do you need to be a housekeeper? 

In some cases, you may need a high school diploma or the equivalent to become a housekeeper. Relevant experience and good references will definitely be helpful. You’ll also need physical stamina and basic knowledge of cleaning equipment. Hotels may require training sessions for new employees. 

Suppose you want to boost your resume and charge more for your services. In that case, you can explore organizations that offer training courses, webinars, and certifications. 

According to Chron, some of these organizations include:

  • The International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA)
  • The Association of Residential Cleaning Professionals (ARCSI), and 
  • The American Hotel and Lodging Executive Institute (AHLEI).

What’s more, certifications that are available include: 

  • Registered Executive Housekeeper (REH)
  • Certified Executive Housekeeper (CEH) 
  • House Cleaning Technician (HCT)
  • Certified Guestroom Attendant (CGA)
  • Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE) 

These certifications often need to be renewed after a certain period. And if you want to pursue a higher position in the cleaning industry, you can get a degree related to hospitality and hotel management. Keep in mind that, in the US, housekeepers and janitors are two separate vocations (via Chron).  

Skills you need as a housekeeper

hotel housekeeper making the bed

Employers or clients prefer housekeepers with the following skills. 

  1. Keen attention to detail 
  2. Excellent time management skills 
  3. Flexibility 
  4. Discretion - Bedside drawers, file cabinets, and similar areas in the house should be off limits unless clients need them to be cleaned. If you accidentally come across your employer’s private information and personal possessions, handle them professionally and don’t broadcast them to another customer or on social media. 
  5. Meal and food preparation (for residential housekeeping jobs) 
  6. Practical skills such as sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, and polishing
  7. Interpersonal skills 

How to find housekeeping work  

As a professional housekeeper, it’s essential to find regular or part-time clients willing and able to pay for your services. Here are some simple ways to get cleaning jobs. 

1. Choose your market.

First, decide what type of housekeeping service you want to offer. Are you looking for full-time, part-time, or seasonal work? What is the demand for housekeepers in your area? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you determine what service to specialize in and where to look for jobs.

2. Join a marketplace to find housekeeping jobs. 

Aside from listing your services on community bulletin boards, you can also join an online marketplace like Airtasker. This can help you find local housekeeping jobs more easily. Simply sign up and start browsing housekeeping tasks near you. You can also attach photos of your past cleaning work to your profile to attract customers.  

3. Promote your housekeeping business on social media. 

Maximize your reach by setting up your social media page if you haven’t yet. Almost everyone is on social media these days, and an online presence is vital to businesses. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok are free to use. You can also hire a web developer to help build your business website and boost your credibility. 

You might also like: How to get cleaning jobs 

Common job interview questions for housekeepers 

Applying for a housekeeping job may require an interview with the hotel or individual client. Here are some common interview questions to prepare to answer. 

  1. Why do you want to work for this company?
  2. Tell us about your previous experience as a housekeeper. 
  3. What hours are you available to work?
  4. How long does it take you to clean? Can you describe your cleaning process? 
  5. What’s your greatest strength as a housekeeper? How about your weakness? (For the latter question, highlight how you’re addressing these areas for improvement.)

Remember that to nail any job interview, you must have a good grasp of the role you’re applying for. You can practice answering these questions in front of a mirror, so you’ll feel confident during the interview.  

Find housekeeping jobs now.

Experience is key to becoming a successful housekeeper. You can start with simple cleaning jobs or browse tasks on Airtasker. This way, you can grow your skills while you make money cleaning. Have the freedom to choose which cleaning jobs to take on at a schedule that works for you. 

Create your profile and start browsing jobs in minutes

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