Hiring A Housekeeper With Your Partner? Discuss This First
Maybe you’ve personally hired housekeepers before, but you’ve never hired one together with your partner, in the home you share together. Or, perhaps you’re totally new to hiring someone to clean your home, entirely. Maybe your partner grew up that way, but you did not. Maybe you’re both very used to having a housekeeper, but now you’re hiring one for the place you share, so you also have to share the process of finding one, and the process of creating rules and expectations. When you hire a housekeeper while living alone, it’s pretty simple. The relationship is just between you and the housekeeper. There is no third party interfering with mandates and regulations. Now, you have a partner. Here’s what to know before hiring a housekeeper with your partner.
This may be new to one of you
This may be a totally new experience to one of you. Let’s say your partner never grew up with housekeepers. In his home, his mother or father cleaned, and everyone chipped in to keep the place in order. He may be uncomfortable with the idea of paying someone to clean his home for many reasons—like it can make him feel slovenly or spoiled.
So, discuss the significance
It’s common for people who didn’t grow up with housekeepers to feel odd about the concept. So, talk about that. Remember that you’re creating a job for someone who needs the income, you’re fighting less with your partner about cleanliness because it’s not on either of you anymore, and you’re getting more quality time together, since you’re spending less time cleaning.
Agree on what you need done
Agree on what you want done around the home. Do you want someone to stop by once a week to do a moderate clean? Do you want someone who just comes by once a month and does a deep clean? Do you want someone who will do literally everything, from the dishes in your sink to the laundry in your basket, or someone who just cleans surfaces, toilets, bathtubs, windows etc.?
And what you’re willing to pay
Once you agree on what you want done, agree on what you’re willing to pay. You do manage your finances together, so you have to come to some agreement on this. But, you may have drastically different views on how many funds should be dedicated to something you could—technically—do on your own. Be firm about this number before even interviewing anybody.
Should someone be home?
Do you want one of you to always be home when the housekeeper is there? Not everyone is comfortable with a stranger in their home when they’re away. One person, however, may think it’s intrusive to even be home while the housekeeper is at work. Talk this out in advance.
Come up with interview questions together
Come up with interview questions in advance. Don’t just go into the interview with no plan. Here is a list of great questions to ask and things to look for when hiring a housekeeper.
Always get a recommendation
Always, always get a recommendation. This person will be in your home, amongst your private belongings. And there’s no reason not to get a recommendation, since you probably know so many people who have a housekeeper they love and trust.
Hire someone you both love
Don’t hire anyone until you find someone with whom you’re both completely comfortable. There’s no need to rush in the hiring process or settle for someone you’re lukewarm about. There are a lot of housekeepers to choose from. Be picky.
There are items you should put away, like insurance documents, bank statements, credit cards, investment statements, and more. Make a list of these together before having the housekeeper over for the first time, and tuck them away.
There are items that wouldn’t necessarily put you at risk of identity theft, but are still quite personal. To be blunt: lock up your vibrators, handcuffs, butt plugs, firearms…you get the idea.
What do you share with the housekeeper?
Have a conversation about boundaries with the housekeeper. She’ll be over a lot, and she may be cleaning in the very room where you’re working at your laptop. It’s only natural you may chat with your housekeeper. Set ground rules with your partner regarding what you do and don’t share with her.
Clean for the cleaner
It may sound weird, but it’s worth it to tidy up before the housekeeper comes. If she charges by the hour, then you don’t want her time wasted on putting clothes in closets and food in pantries. Do that ahead of time, so she can do the deep cleaning that she does best.
How do pets/kids come into play?
If you have children or pets, talk to your housekeeper about how she works around these. Is she okay with animals? Is she comfortable around kids? And, furthermore, if you do have kids, make sure your housekeeper doesn’t accidentally take on nanny duties. That’s not her job.
Always be a team
If something comes up that you’d like to address with the housekeeper, talk to your partner about it, first. You should be on the same page about how to handle it.
You’ll thank yourselves
Ultimately, know that you’ll thank yourselves. If you can afford a housekeeper, then getting one could be one of the best things you do for your relationship. Considering that domestic duties and cleanliness make up a majority of couples fights, you can just…erase those issues. For the most part.