People are busier than ever before. We’re spending a lot more time commuting and at our workplaces. Chances are, that after a long day at work, you’ll have little to no energy left to manage domestic affairs.
Unfortunately, household chores, however tedious, can’t be ignored.
It is no surprise that more and more households are choosing to hire a housekeeper who can be on hand all the time. Live-in housekeepers are affordable, manage the upkeep of your home, and you’ll always have someone around in case of an emergency.
While delegating housework works out well for most people, having a stranger living in your house can be difficult. You should always treat them fairly and respectfully, and part of that is having clearly established boundaries.
Here are some things you should enforce, not just for your comfort, but also your housekeeper’s.
Adjusting to someone new living in the private bubble of your home is not the easiest thing to do.
For all intents and purposes, your live-in housekeeper becomes a member of your family. Your house is not just a workplace for them, but also their home. Respect their privacy, and they will respect yours.
Communicate with them so that they know what is okay and what is not. If you need time by yourself with your spouse or your children, tell them about it.
When it comes to concerns about them eavesdropping on phone calls or family discussions, try not to have important conversations around them, if you’re worried about this. If the problem persists, make it clear that such behaviour is unacceptable.
Lead by example, and be very careful about personal space. If you don’t barge into their rooms uninvited, and always make it a point to knock before you enter, then they will also learn to do the same.
A Clean Sweep
You and your housekeeper may have very different ideas about what is clean and what is not. If there’s one thing you should not compromise on at all, it’s hygiene.
Even before you hire housekeeping services, you should clean your house the way you like it, so you know what’s doable and what’s not.
Work with them in the first few days and demonstrate how you want your home cleaned, so that they have a clear idea. Remember to be patient, but don’t ignore any slip-ups when it comes to cleanliness. Politely point out recurring problems, and keep working with them so they know how to do it right.
If you have problems with their personal hygiene, find a way to discreetly inform them. Make sure they have everything they need, and provide toiletries till they have the time to purchase their own supplies.
Safe As Houses
Your home is where you’re most vulnerable, and part of the discomfort of having a live-in housekeeper stems from concerns about security.
If you can’t trust your housekeeper, you shouldn’t be hiring them at all. You’re always going to be agonising about leaving them alone at home, and that’s counter-productive. Hire from a reputed service so you don’t have to worry about issues like theft.
However, even the most trustworthy housekeepers can inadvertently cross lines.
If they’ve been entertaining personal guests in your home without your consent, that is a major problem. People they invite in will not be as thoroughly vetted as your housekeeper was. Make it clear to them that they need your permission to host people, because at the end of the day, it’s your home and belongings that are at risk.
Your housekeeper may not be happy about this, but do not compromise on this stipulation, especially in the initial months.
Clearly defined responsibilities, remuneration, and benefits go a long way in diffusing potential conflicts. Be respectful of their concerns and problems, but remember that your relationship with your housekeeper is primarily professional. Treating them with the respect and courtesy they deserve does not mean that you can’t lay down non-negotiable boundaries.
Effective communication is the best way to make the process of moving your housekeeper into your home as painless as possible.