The Horror of the Wrong Housekeeper


I am convinced that nobody in this world knows you better than your housekeeper.   I mean, think about it; they see every single corner of your house, your living space, the walls of everything that defines you – and they come back time and time again, taking it all in and keeping all your “dirty” little secrets.

But, to have the wrong person in the position – it’s the worst kind of horror.

Several years ago, I went against my gut and hired a family member of one of my employees. My new housekeeper, let’s just call her Sarah; went above and beyond my expectations. She was a go-getter that did things I didn’t know were even options, like ironing and hemming my clothes.

Well, her upselling skills started to feel a little pushy. She insisted on folding my laundry – which would make anyone uncomfortable but still not the worst part of this relationship. She insisted on taking my clothes home to complete the needed alterations, for extra fees.  Still – I took these opportunities at getting more help with my personal chores.

One night, I came home and Sarah was finishing up folding my laundry. My folded clothes were sitting in neat and tidy piles on top of my freshly made bed.  After some small talk with Sarah, I offered to help put away the piles.  Watching her clean my house was becoming uncomfortable; especially with a pile of my panties sitting smack in the middle.  I grabbed the pile of my folded panties and in that moment, where I already was mortified– she made it worse:

“I don’t know how you’re single with the nice panties you wear.”

I can’t make this up.

What do you do when someone says that? Okay, maybe you would have stood up for yourself, I’m not that assertive.  I awkwardly giggled and blanked out the rest of our visit as I kept playing the footage of what happened over and over again.

Guess what? That’s not why I fired her. You would think that was why – but it wasn’t until she showed up to my work to drop off my hemmed pants, interrupting a one-on-one with a staff member.  I was mortified!  You want to know why, because I didn’t want my staff to know I had a housekeeper.  That’s as private as what kind of panties I wear.

Sarah was shocked when I let her go.  I was relieved.

Although this story is light and fun – I learned quickly how horribly wrong hiring an individual could be. Below is a checklist of things to consider when deciding if you should hire someone individually or go through a professional company:

  • Scheduling: If for some reason your individual does not show – then more often than not, your house isn’t getting cleaned. At a professional establishment, they have other staff members that can fill in shifts to keep a permanent schedule with you.
  • Taxes: If it is determined that you are the employer of the individual you hire (versus them being a license and bonded contractor) – you may be required to withhold pay to be able to pay their Medicare, Federal Income and Social Security Tax (you can contact the IRS with questions). This will require you to also secure the proper paperwork for a new employee such as Employment Verification Form I-9.
  • Liability: Who is liable for broken or stolen items? What if your housekeeper falls on your property?  Professional companies have insurance to cover these incidents.
  • Cleaning supplies: Typically if a housekeeper is an employee or contractor they require you to supply the cleaning supplies.

The benefits of hiring a professional service tend to outweigh the savings of a direct personal hire. In addition to what most professional companies provide in a professional service, Maid Marvelous requires a background check and often a drug test at hire to protect their customers even further!

When deciding who will be cleaning your home, give us a call for a free consultation to review our services and prices!





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