Career Development

Guide to Housekeeping Skills (With Tips and Examples)

December 2, 2020

Housekeepers are an important part of the cleanliness of both public and private facilities. An effective and successful housekeeper has several important skills, including an eye for detail and organization skills. In this article, we discuss what housekeeping skills are and how you can improve them, with examples and tips on applying for housekeeping jobs and using these skills at the workplace.

What are housekeeping skills?

Housekeeping skills are skills that allow a housekeeper or maid to be effective at their job. These skills can range from customer service to being detail-oriented, and they may vary based on a housekeeper's specific duties and place of employment. For example, a housekeeper who works in a hospital may have to abide by strict cleanliness guidelines to ensure patients are in a clean and healthy environment.

On the other hand, a personal housekeeper may only perform light cleaning duties such as dusting and vacuuming. Regardless of a housekeeper's duties and place of work, they should have several housekeeping skills to be successful at their job.

Related: Learn About Being a Housekeeper

Examples of housekeeping skills

The following are the most common housekeeping skills needed to be a good housekeeper:

  • Time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility
  • Customer service
  • Housekeeping hard skills

Time management skills

Housekeepers often work on their own or in a small group of other housekeepers and must complete a set number of cleanings each day. Being able to properly manage time is a key skill needed by a housekeeper to ensure they complete all cleanings on time. They must also be punctual for cleaning appointments and finish cleaning in the time frame expected by the client.

Read more: Time Management Skills: Definition and Examples

Attention to detail

A housekeeper must be extremely detail-oriented to be effective at their job. From organizing various household items to ensuring that floors and windows are scrubbed clean and left streakless, these professionals need a keen eye for detail to successfully perform their duties. The more thorough a housekeeper is at completing their tasks, the better they will be at their job.

Communication skills

Housekeepers must regularly communicate with clients, coworkers and supervisors to ensure that the expectations for each cleaning are thoroughly understood. Without good communication skills, a housekeeper may not meet the needs of the client or overlook important components required to complete a particular job.

Read more: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Interpersonal skills

Housekeepers often work directly with clients and must be able to work well with others to be successful at their job. Common interpersonal skills needed by housekeepers include dependability, teamwork and responsibility.

Flexibility

Many housekeepers are required to work different hours each day based on a client's needs. For example, if a housekeeper is tasked with cleaning an office building, they may have to wait to begin work until all employees have left the building for the evening. Some housekeepers even work overnight or early in the morning. Being flexible can help a housekeeper be available for more jobs and potentially make more money.

Customer service

Housekeepers must have good customer service skills to be successful at what they do. This is because their work is based on the approval of the client, so ensuring that clients are satisfied with a housekeeper's performance is key to being successful in this career.

Housekeeping hard skills

Housekeepers need several hard skills to be successful in their jobs. Hard skills are specific skills required to perform a certain task. Common hard skills needed to be a good housekeeper include:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Sweeping
  • Deep cleaning
  • Mopping
  • Window treatment cleaning
  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Bathroom and bedroom cleaning
  • Infection control
  • Polishing

How to improve housekeeping skills

The following are steps you can take to improve your housekeeping skills to be an overall more effective housekeeper:

Master the art of organization

Being organized is a major component of being a good housekeeper. You can improve your organization skills by practicing in your own home and focusing on organization each time you complete a cleaning.

Undergo training

There are programs available that offer housekeeping training classes to help you improve your housekeeping skills.

Familiarize yourself with cleaning equipment

Different types of equipment can be used for housekeeping. Common equipment includes laundry supplies, vacuum cleaners, mops and other machinery that can help housekeepers effectively complete their job. Becoming familiar with housekeeping equipment can help you complete your work more quickly and effectively.

Regularly communicate with clients

Knowing what a client expects of your housekeeping services is key to being a good housekeeper. Keep in regular communication with your clients and ensure that they are satisfied after each cleaning. If they aren't satisfied, ask specific questions as to what they would like to see improved.

Housekeeping skills in the workplace

The following are tips on how to implement housekeeping skills while on the job:

Keep a detailed planner

Because communication and punctuality are important components to being a good housekeeper, keeping a planner with the times and locations of each appointment can ensure you don't forget or mix up cleaning sessions. You can also use this planner to make any special notes for particular locations. For example, if a client wants their windows to be washed last, you could note this next to their appointment.

Remain consistent

Consistency and attention to detail are key skills that housekeepers often need to be good at their jobs. If you dusted the window sills at a home the last time you cleaned it, be sure to dust them each time going forward. This ensures that the client knows what to expect and can rely on you to meet their housecleaning goals each time you visit.

Take pride in your work

You should take pride in each home or facility that you clean and know that you have done the best job possible. This helps ensure that your clients are satisfied and keeps you motivated in your work. Taking pride in your job also encourages you to keep honing your housekeeping skills so that you become more effective and successful.

Tips to highlight housekeeping skills

When applying for housekeeping jobs, it's important that you effectively highlight your housekeeping skills so that potential employers can easily see why you'd be a good fit for a position. The following are tips you can use both on your resume and cover letter, as well as during a job interview to highlight your housekeeping skills:

Housekeeping skills for resume and cover letter

You should include your housekeeping skills on both your resume and cover letter. On your resume, include specific instances of your housekeeping skills in your work experience section. You can also highlight one or two skills in the resume objective or summary section, as well as the skills section of your resume. On your cover letter, choose two to three skills to highlight and then give specific examples of each in the body of the letter.

Housekeeping skills for the job interview

When discussing your housekeeping skills during an interview, it's important to be as specific as possible. Provide the interviewer with concrete examples of instances in which your housekeeping skills were successfully used. Be sure to mention the skills that were specifically listed in the job description to ensure the interviewer knows that you are qualified for the position.

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