Essential Housekeeping Skills (Definition And Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 14 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A housekeeper is a cleaning and maintenance employee who works in either a private home or a business setting, such as a hotel. Housekeepers help keep both public and private facilities clean. An effective and successful housekeeper possesses several key characteristics, including hard skills and soft skills, and knowing more about these skills can help you secure a job in this domain. In this article, we explain what housekeeping skills are and how to improve them and provide examples and advice on how to apply for housekeeping jobs and apply these skills in the workplace.

What Are Housekeeping Skills?

Housekeeping skills are the abilities that enable a housekeeper or maid to do their job skillfully. These skills might range from customer service to communication and they may vary depending on a housekeeper's unique responsibilities and their workplace. For example, in a hospital, a housekeeper may be obliged to adhere to strict sanitation rules to ensure that patients are in a clean and healthy environment at all times.

What Does A Housekeeper Do?

Housekeepers perform cleaning duties regularly to keep their work settings clean. Many housekeepers find employment in hospitality establishments like hotels, although they can also work in residential institutions or private residences. Room cleaners, maids, house cleaners, room attendants and housekeeping assistants are all terms that an employer may use to refer to these professionals. A housekeeper's typical duties include:

  • Making beds and changing sheets

  • Garbage removal and recycling

  • Vacuuming carpets, sweeping and mopping floors, dusting surfaces and cleaning light fixtures in bedrooms, living rooms and other areas of the house or facility

  • Folding towels, washcloths and bath mats attractively and arranging them in place

  • Cleaning pots, plates, cutlery and other supplies

  • Restocking soap, lotion, shampoos, toilet paper and face tissue

Examples Of Housekeeping Skills

These are some common skills required to be a successful housekeeper:

Time management skills

Housekeepers typically work alone or in small groups with other housekeepers and are usually required to complete a specified set of tasks every day. To complete tasks on time, a housekeeper benefits from being able to effectively manage a work schedule. To manage their time effectively and avoid delays, they may arrive on time for cleaning appointments and complete their duties within a specified time frame.

Read more: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Attention to detail

A housekeeper benefits from being exceedingly detail-oriented as it enables them to be effective in their profession. To successfully perform at their job, which involves tasks like organising various household objects and cleaning floors and windows, these specialists pay attention to minor details, which may seem trivial to most people. The more skilled a housekeeper is in their profession, the more meticulous they may be with their duties and responsibilities.

Communication skills

In a hotel, housekeepers may interact with a variety of guests daily and they benefit from being able to navigate these interactions in an appropriate and polite manner. It is also important for housekeepers to communicate clearly with the rest of their team so that they know when an employee finishes their work or needs help. These professionals may assist with requests for personal supplies such as towels, soap, toilet paper and other similar products. Housekeepers may occasionally assist guests in addressing concerns about facilities or services that do not meet their expectations.

Interpersonal skills

Housekeepers engage with clients frequently and benefit from being able to work well with other professionals. Employers may expect housekeepers to have interpersonal qualities, such as dependability, collaboration skills and accountability. A housekeeper may ascertain that they fully comprehend the instructions they receive. They also determine when to enquire further, in case of discrepancies, irregularities or other confusions. The ability to listen actively and answer appropriately can help you advance your career in this role.

Read more: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions And Examples


Housekeepers may work a variety of schedules in a day depending on their clients' requirements. For example, housekeepers who work in office buildings may wait until all employees finish their shift before beginning work. It is common for housekeepers to work late at night or very early in the morning. Adaptability might assist a housekeeper in taking on additional duties and earning more money.

Customer service

Housekeepers require excellent customer service abilities to be successful in their careers. This is because their work is based on the approval of clients. Ensuring that clients are happy with their work performance is crucial to their success. To impress an employer, you may enhance the amount of dedication you show at work.

Related: What Is Customer Service? Definition And Career Advice


While on the job, housekeepers can make mistakes or face mishaps. While washing, they may break a glass, crack a plate or even damage clothing belonging to a guest. They are required to take responsibility for their mistakes, explain what happened and make sure it does not happen again.

Housekeeping Hard Skills

Housekeepers require several hard skills to be successful in their jobs. Hard skills are specific skills that a professional can develop to perform tasks. Common hard skills for housekeepers include:

  • Carpet cleaning

  • Sweeping

  • Deep cleaning

  • Mopping

  • Window treatment and cleaning

  • Vacuuming

  • Dusting

  • Bathroom and bedroom cleaning

  • Infection control

  • Polishing

Improving housekeeping skills

These are some pointers to help you improve your housekeeping competency and progress in this career field:

  • Organisation: Being a competent housekeeper requires organisation. You can enhance your organisational abilities by practising at home and concentrating on organising tasks, tools and other resources every time you do cleaning.

  • Training: Pursue programmes that provide housekeeping training lessons to assist in improving relevant skills.

  • Familiarity with cleaning equipment: Laundry supplies, vacuum cleaners and mops are examples of common equipment that can assist housekeepers in addressing their duties. Learning how to use housekeeping equipment and tools can help you finish your tasks faster and more efficiently.

  • Communication with clients: Being a good housekeeper requires knowing what a client expects from your services. Maintain contact with clients to ensure that they are happy after each cleaning session and ask them specific questions about what they may like to change.

Housekeeping Skills In The Workplace

These are some tips for applying your skills in the workplace:

Keep a detailed planner

Because communication and punctuality are crucial aspects in this profession, keeping a planner to record the time and place of each job can help you remember your engagements and avoid scheduling conflicts. A planner can also ‌store special notes for certain tasks. For example, if a client requests you to wash windows, you can make a note of it next to their appointment.

Remain consistent

Housekeepers require consistency and attention to detail to be successful in their work. If you have dusted window sills the last time you cleaned a house, be sure to dust them every time you work there. This ensures that a client is aware of what to expect and that they can depend on you to accomplish consistent house cleaning objectives each time you visit.

Be proud of your work

Be proud of the work you do at each home or facility you visit. Understanding the importance of your service and knowing that you can satisfy your customers with your work can help you motivate yourself. Taking pride in your work inspires you to keep improving your abilities. This allows you to become more efficient and effective with time.

Highlighting Your Skills

It is critical to effectively highlight your housekeeping talents when applying for jobs, so that potential employers can quickly see why you may be a good fit for the position. To emphasise your housekeeping talents, consider the following recommendations for a resume, cover letter or a job interview:

For resumes and cover letters

Your resume and cover letter can highlight your housekeeping experience. Include particular examples of your talents in the work experience section of your resume. Highlight one or two skills in the resume summary and the skills section of your resume. Choose two to three skills to highlight on your cover letter and then give specific examples of the use of each in the letter's body.

For a job interview

It is crucial to be as specific as possible when presenting your abilities during an interview. Give specific examples of instances when you used your talents to provide exceptional service for a client or company. To ensure that the interviewer understands ‌that you are qualified‌, elaborate on skills that appear in the job description.

Related: 42 Cleaning Job Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

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