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A housekeeper is a person who is hired to provide professional domestic services such as cleaning, laundry, and sometimes cooking and errands. Usually only wealthy households employ full-time domestic workers, though many dual-income upper and middle class families hire the services of a housekeeper for periodic household cleaning.
Considered a luxury by many, employing a full-time housekeeper may involve providing room and board in addition to a weekly or monthly salary. This person usually does not have any involvement with children in the household, but rather is responsible only for keeping the house clean and orderly. He or she may or may not be employed to shop for and prepare meals.
Part-time housekeepers, on the other hand, do not work for a single household, but rather visit several different households throughout the course of a week. They may work for an agency or company who places them with interested clients. Households that hire a part-time cleaners might request their services weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. Typically, a housekeeper working part-time is responsible only for routine, thorough cleaning of the home.
Typical duties of a housekeeper include vacuuming, dusting, mopping, kitchen and bathroom details, along with surface cleaning. The person's exact duties are worked out between the employer and the housekeeper when discussing employment terms. In addition to private households, hotels, nursing homes and extended care facilities also hire staff specifically for housekeeping.
A housekeeper’s salary depends on his or her location and duties, and ranges from an hourly rate to a weekly or monthly salary. Someone who is employed full time is usually paid a salary, while part-time housekeepers and those employed by businesses are generally paid by the hour. If a household wishes to employ a housekeeper who also works as a nanny and cares for children, the expected salary is generally higher than that of a cleaner alone.