A day in the life of a housekeeper (With tasks and skills)

Updated 27 July 2023

When you're looking for a new role in a career, having a better idea of what exactly the position entails before applying is important. This provides candidates with a better idea of whether they might enjoy the job and helps them prepare before applying. If you think you'd like to be a housekeeper, checking out a breakdown of their day can help you decide if it's the right career for you. In this article, we discuss what a day in the life of a housekeeper includes and some of the most vital skills for working as a housekeeper.

What is a housekeeper?

A housekeeper is a member of staff who completes a range of household tasks, such as making beds and refilling beverage supplies. Whilst most housekeepers work in a hotel environment and look after their guests, others spend their time working for a private client, ensuring their property is clean and nice to live in.

When working as a private housekeeper for an individual client, some clients recommend that the housekeeper stays in their home permanently. This makes completing the work simpler, removing the need for a commute to the workplace. Working as a housekeeper in a hotel involves commuting to the workplace for every shift, as hotels monetise all of the accommodation they have available.

Related: How to become a housekeeper in 5 steps (Plus definition)

A day in the life of a housekeeper

Learn more about a day in the life of a housekeeper below. Each task mentions whether the task refers to private housekeepers or hotel housekeepers, so you understand both of the roles completely:

Wake up and go to work

The first part of the day for a housekeeper, whether live-in or in a hotel, is waking up and getting ready for work. For a live-in housekeeper, this involves waking up before the residents of the house, making yourself look presentable and getting out of your private area of the property and into the main area of the house. As a housekeeper, starting the day right is ideal as it sets the tone for cleanliness and good presentation.

A hotel housekeeper also wakes up early, preparing for the breakfast shift. This involves putting on their hotel uniform and commuting into the workplace. Presentation is an essential part of preparing for work as a housekeeper. Good presentation is ideal for a hotel to leave a positive impression on their guests, so focusing on looking good is important for a housekeeper in the morning.

Related: How to tell if a new commute to work is too long (With tips)


After arriving at work, a housekeeper's first responsibility is preparing and serving breakfast. This is a requirement for a live-in housekeeper and hotel employee, depending on the nature of the hotel. A private housekeeper prepares breakfast for each of the members of the household, making meals according to everyone's personal tastes. This process includes making the food, serving breakfast and washing up afterwards.

In some hotels, housekeeping staff also have responsibilities as servers and waiters. This includes taking orders from the guests at their tables, conveying these orders to kitchen staff and bringing them out when the food is ready. Housekeepers also solve problems in the dining room, responding to customer concerns and preventing conflicts from escalating. This ensures guests are happy with their food and enjoy their time in the hotel.

Related: What does a food server do at work and what do they earn?

Morning routine

After the breakfast period, a live-in housekeeper completes a morning routine with the residents of the property. This includes preparing children for the day and taking them to school on time for their first lessons. Tasks in this process include ensuring they dress the children appropriately for school, packing bags for the day ahead and checking the daily schedule for appointments such as a trip to see the doctor or dentist.

Completing this task depends on the needs of the homeowner. For example, a client who sets off to work early in the morning and can't take their own children to school uses a housekeeper to make sure their children are in the right place at the right time. This also depends on the age of the children, as older students are capable of walking to school themselves. Housekeepers in hotels don't have this responsibility.

Related: How to create a positive morning routine: Tips and examples

Tidying up

A live-in housekeeper spends their time throughout the day ensuring the home is clean and tidy. This includes putting things away from breakfast in the morning, tidying up any toys children leave out and vacuuming any carpets to remove dust from the property. This role also includes completing regular deep cleans, which includes cleaning kitchen appliances and other hard-to-reach areas more thoroughly.

In a hotel environment, tidying up consists of going from room to room in the hotel, knocking on a guest's door and completing simple tasks, such as emptying bins, refilling beverages and making the bed. If the guest is no longer at the hotel, a housekeeper removes all of the bedding from the room, takes it to the laundry and prepares the room for the next guest using completely fresh bedding. Housekeepers also tidy the public areas of a hotel, such as vacuuming the corridors and cleaning any windows.

Related: How to become a self-employed housekeeper (With steps)

Pet care

A live-in housekeeper is also responsible for the care of the household's pets. In the event that a client's family owns a cat, dog or any other pets that require care and attention, a housekeeper looks after them throughout the day. For a dog, this includes taking them out for walks and playing with them, providing mental stimulation when the rest of the family is out of the house. For a cat, this includes feeding and cleaning litter trays. Research the needs of each animal thoroughly as a means of providing better care.

Depending on the needs of each pet, live-in housekeepers intersperse looking after the animals with their other tasks. For example, taking a dog out for a walk prior to cleaning a kitchen is ideal, as this means the dog is tired and not looking for attention when you're working with corrosive chemicals. Plan your day thoroughly in advance as this makes pet care easier and prevents potential issues throughout your tasks. Hotel housekeepers don't handle pets unless the hotel allows pets to stay on the premises.

Related: 13 exciting jobs working with dogs and their primary duties


Dinner is a significant part of a live-in housekeeper's routine. This includes cooking the meal, letting members of the family know when they can expect the meal and serving it on time. Planning meals depends on the specific client, as some prefer letting a housekeeper know what to cook in advance, whereas others let the housekeeper create meals they enjoy cooking. Making dinner includes controlling portion sizes and cooking the right amount for the people who are eating on that day.

Some hotels also expect housekeepers to stay on for a dinner shift. This is similar to working on a breakfast shift. This includes seeing every guest in the dining room, receiving their order and conveying it to the kitchen. Housekeepers then deliver dishes to the diners one table at a time. Dinner services are only present in some hotels, with others only providing a breakfast service for their customers. Providing quality dinner services is important for improving the customer's overall hotel experience and ensuring they have a good end to their day.

Evening routine

A live-in housekeeper completes an evening routine. A live-in housekeeper prepares members of the household for their appointments for the next day, ensures children complete their homework and gets them ready for bed. This also includes preparing in advance for the morning routine, making the next day simpler.

A live-in housekeeper's evening tasks depend on when they finish work for the day. In the event that a housekeeper completes fewer tasks in the evening as they work earlier, some of these responsibilities become part of the morning routine. Some households employ multiple housekeepers as a means of preventing this issue. Hotel housekeepers don't have evening tasks.

Housekeeper skills

Housekeepers use a range of skills in their work, including:

  • Attention to detail: This includes finding small details when cleaning and covering every part of the property.

  • Empathy: This is important when talking to children, learning about their problems and helping to solve them.

  • Organisation: This supports the housekeeper with tracking household appointments and the necessary tasks each day.


  • How to write a housekeeper cover letter with no experience

  • What is a housekeeping assistant? (With duties and skills)

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