How to prepare for your cleaner's arrival

How to prepare for your cleaner's arrival

We get a lot of questions coming through the Housekeep office about this subject, particularly from customers who haven’t used a domestic cleaner before and would like to learn the etiquette.

Really, much of this will come down to your personal preference. In fact, this can be said for our business in general - everyone will have their own expectations and their own priorities, so you’re able to take this guide with a little pinch of salt.

That being said, although there aren’t hard and fast rules about this, we have got some advice on best practice, which we’ve broken down into three common questions.

If the below doesn’t answer your question, you’re always welcome to check out our FAQs as well, or contact the team via email at or

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What does my Housekeeper need?

Your Housekeeper will be travelling via public transport so they will need to have equipment provided for them at the property. Generally, this means:

  • A mop and bucket
  • A toilet brush
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A brush (this isn’t always necessary, but can come in handy for wooden or tiled floors and the like)

Your Housekeeper will also need some products to complete the clean:

  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Bin bags
  • Duster
  • Floor cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Kitchen cleaner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Limescale remover
  • Microfiber cloths (these will need to be machine washed between cleans)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponges
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Vacuum bags (this will depend on the vacuum that you have)
  • Washing-up liquid

For an additional charge of £5/clean your Housekeeper can provide the products (not equipment) with the exception of washing-up liquid, laundry detergent, vacuum bags and bin bags. These excluded items need to be provided by yourself as these will be down to personal taste/requirement.

“To tidy or not to tidy? Do I need to prep the house?”

According to this research, pre-clean tidying varies from region to region (Yorkshire, you're so house-proud), and some demographics are more likely to tidy before a cleaner arrives. Others prefer for their cleaner to tidy up, as well as clean.

Although your Housekeeper is able to tidy, this will detract from the rest of the time that could be spent on other cleaning tasks, such as mopping, vacuuming and dusting, so it’s worth taking this into account when deciding whether to tidy pre-clean.

For example, your Housekeeper is certainly able to wash up the dishes left over from breakfast or lunch, although they may not have the time to complete a week’s worth of dishes. As a rule of thumb, we would recommend approximately 30 minutes per room of a property (give or take - again, no hard and fast rules), and if your Housekeeper spends 20 minutes washing up, this may impact upon their ability to complete other tasks in the kitchen: wiping the hob, wiping down cupboard fronts etc. etc.

The other consideration to make when leaving your Housekeeper tidying is that they may not know where is best to move items, or where certain things are best tidied into. Most people have their own personal storage methods, and it’s hard for Housekeepers to know where you prefer items tidied. Taking this task off your Housekeeper’s hands will mean they’ve got more time to get that extra shine in the room, and will be able to dust and wipe surfaces that may otherwise be difficult to reach.

“I like things done my way - how can I let my cleaner know my preferences?”

We always advise that new customers leave thorough instructions on their online account regarding their own preferences and how they like things done.

There’s a fine line between thorough and excessive instructions. Your Housekeeper’s a pro, so they won’t need detailed instructions of the basics. Instructions are really good though for making your Housekeeper aware of your priorities. This is essential if there are tasks that may take up more time in your property than other properties (say, the aforementioned washing up, for example) or if you’re booking less than the recommended duration for your clean.

When customers inform us of the size of their property, we suggest a duration for the ongoing cleans; we’ve based this on the feedback of Housekeepers and the speed that they feel they can work to a 5-star standard. Customers are welcome to book less than this time, however priorities will then need to be specified. Housekeepers work smart and fast, but they are still human, and won’t be able to complete a 4 bed/3 property in a 2 or 3 hour session.

Round up

In order to make the most out of the time your Housekeeper spends at your property we would recommend that they’re well equipped, working within a reasonably tidy space, and well instructed. 

Following these simple rules will ensure that every moment your Housekeeper is in your home is a productive one, and this will maximise the value-for-money that you’re getting!

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