Many dual-income families with small children find it incredibly taxing to meet all their household needs on a weekly basis. There just aren’t enough hours in a day, and for these families, it can be a huge relief to employ a housekeeper. Oftentimes, the tasks they need help with may go beyond even the typical housekeeping duties. If you find yourself in a housekeeping position but are interested in boosting your take-home pay, consider expanding the services you perform for the family. Here are some of the ways to go the extra mile:
1. Running Errands
If you have your own transportation and the ability to fit the occasional errand into your schedule easily, being available for everyday odds and ends like picking up dry-cleaning or returning books to the library can be a huge help to families.
2. Shopping for Groceries
Much like running errands, many families will appreciate the time they could save by cutting down on trips to the grocery store. It could be specific shopping lists, or perhaps certain household items that you could keep an eye on and always restock automatically when they get low. Whether it happens as a regularly scheduled occurrence or an as-needed thing, just be sure that the compensation is clear.
3. Caring for Outdoor Plants
You’re likely already watering and caring for the indoor plants if there are any. If you have enough of a green thumb, it could go a long way to expand that by helping out in the garden as well.
4. Deep Cleaning
Housekeeping covers all sorts of general tidying, but for deep cleaning services, families generally have to hire a specialist for the job. Offer to take on some of these projects for an extra cost—comparable to what they would pay elsewhere, and spare the family the time of seeking and scheduling a cleaning service.
5. Caring for Pets
Another easy way to boost your pay rate is to include general pet care services, such as feeding, walking dogs, giving medicine if needed, etc.
6. Preparing for Travel
Getting the family ready for vacation can be very stressful work for parents. Not only is packing and planning a mentally taxing experience, but paying for a cab or car service to and from the airport gets expensive as well. If you can assist with packing and/or driving them to the airport, it can be a great help.
Propose the Extra Services in a Professional Way
It is always important to conduct yourself as professionally as possible, so it is not recommended to just randomly point out an area where it looks like the family needs help. For example: “These floors are really filthy—did you know I do carpet cleaning, too?” This may come off as nosy or rude.
Start instead by asking to have a short meeting to discuss the proposed additional responsibilities. Be prepared to explain how these services would be beneficial, and why you believe you are qualified to perform them. Going into this conversation, it is good to have an idea already of how you would expect these tasks to affect your pay and lay them out clearly.
Lastly, allow some time for an answer. Chances are, this will come unexpectedly to the family and they will not be immediately prepared to agree to new expenses. By making the proposition and then allowing time to think about it, you are creating opportunities for them to reflect on why it might be helpful for them.
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