Housekeeping Etiquette: How to Prepare Your Home

House cleaner cleaning a coffee table

If you’re hiring a housekeeper for the first time, you may be wondering things like:

Should I stay home while they clean, or leave so I’m out of their way?

Do I need to clean first?

Do I do the dishes or take out the trash?

These are all questions I hear often, and I’m here to give you an idea of what to expect. I’ll also go over 6 housekeeper etiquette tips to make it a smooth experience for both you and the cleaners.

Key Takeaways

  • Decluttering: I recommend clearing off countertops, tables, and floors
  • Securing Pets: Find a safe, comfortable spot for your pets and notify the cleaners of your pet’s location
  • Convey Preferences and Priorities: Let your cleaner know any preferences (i.e. eco-friendly products only) and highlight any areas you’d like them to pay extra attention to
  • Initial Walk-Through: Show your cleaners around and let them know where you’ll be during the cleaning
  • During the Service: Stick around, head to work, or run some errands – it’s completely up to you
  • Staying Accessible: If you’ll be away during the cleaning, it can be helpful to leave your mobile number so the cleaner can reach you with any questions
  • Post-Service: Leave a review if you’d like or discuss any concerns with the cleaners
  • Future Planning: Take note of any areas you would like cleaners to focus on at subsequent visits or any changes you’d like to make

6 Tips for Preparing Your House for a Professional Housekeeper

Here are our top housekeeping etiquette tips to ensure you get the most out of your professional cleaning.

1. Declutter Tables, Floors, and Countertops

I can tell you one thing for sure: We aren’t here to judge you! So pre-cleaning isn’t something to stress over or worry about what we’ll think. Rather pre-cleaning and decluttering make sure I can make the most of my time.

A quick declutter and pre-clean ensures I can do my job as efficiently as possible. Rather than spending time wondering where I should put your hair dryer or electric bill, I can get right down to cleaning. This also ensures I don’t accidentally put an item away in the wrong drawer.

Of course, if you don’t have time to pre-clean, we’ll still get the job done! It just cuts into the time we have available for deeper cleaning.

I recommend decluttering the following areas:

  • Clear newspapers, magazines, bills, and mail from counters or dining or coffee tables
  • Put toys into toy bins
  • Put any dirty laundry into the hamper
  • Put dishes away
  • Ensure countertops are cleared
  • No need to clean the floors but make sure items are off of the floors (i.e. boxes, clutter, etc.)

2. Put Your Pets Away

Many carpet cleaning professionals will now use eco-friendly products that are also safe to use around pets and children.

I love pets and I know what an important part of the family they are. But during housekeeping services, it is best to put them somewhere safely out of the way.

Whether it’s putting them in a kennel, taking them on a walk, or putting them in a spare room, it keeps your pets calm and comfortable and ensures the cleaners can get as much done as possible.

It is also helpful to let me know beforehand if you have any pets. Upon arrival, let us know where your pets will be while we clean.

3. Share Your Preferences

If you have certain preferences, I want to know so I can be sure to adhere to them.

Whether you want only eco-friendly cleaning products used, need the inside of your cabinets cleaned, want us to focus on a particular room, or want us to leave the dishes in the sink and spend more time on other areas, I’m happy to work with you to deliver your desired outcome.

4. Put Away Private or Dangerous Items

We want to make you feel at ease and comfortable in your own home by tackling the time-consuming cleaning jobs for you and leaving your home sparkling. But we also want to feel comfortable while cleaning.

When decluttering, be sure to put away any private or dangerous items. Properly dispose of any biohazards, such as insulin syringes or medical supplies, and clean up any spills or messes (i.e. animal feces) that could pose a risk of infection.

5. Do a Walk-Through

When I arrive at a house, I always like to do a quick walk through with the client. Along with giving me a layout of the house, this allows me to get a clear idea of any areas the client wants me to focus on.

We come prepared with our own cleaning supplies but it is still helpful to know where you keep your extra cleaning supplies, such as paper towels, a broom, or trash bags, just in case.

If you want the cleaners to wash the towels and bedding, show them where fresh linens are stored.

6. Let the Cleaners Know If You’ll Be Leaving or Staying Home

Some of my clients prefer to stay home during housekeeping services. Other clients are away at work or head out to complete some errands. I always tell my clients it is entirely up to them whether they’d prefer to be at home or leave during the cleaning.

If you do stay at home, it can be helpful if you head outdoors or hang out in a spare room.

If you choose to leave, I recommend leaving your mobile phone in case any questions arise. You can give the cleaners directions on how to lock up when they leave.

House Keeping Etiquette Example

Two housekeepers using housekeeper hacks such as using a microfibre cloth and making the bed early

If you’ve never had your house professionally cleaned, you’re probably wondering what to expect. Here’s an example of what hiring a professional cleaner may look like.

Emily’s First Experience with a House Cleaning Service in Perth

  • Preparation Emily researched housekeeping services in Perth and chose a cleaner with high reviews and years of experience. She briefly discussed her preferences when booking the appointment.
  • Decluttering: Emily spends time tidying her home the night before, ensuring toys and mail are put away and the kitchen counters are clear.
  • Securing Pets: She places her cat, Whiskers, in the spare bedroom with his food, water, and necessary supplies.
  • Priority Areas List: Emily writes a note detailing specific areas that need extra attention, especially the kitchen and main bathroom. She also indicates her preference for eco-friendly cleaning products and lets the cleaners know she’ll do the dishes in the sink and would rather they focus on deep cleaning other areas.
  • Initial Walk-Through: Emily guides the cleaners through her apartment, highlighting areas she wants extra attention paid to. She notifies the cleaners that her cat is in the spare bedroom.
  • During the Service: Emily decides to run errands.
  • Staying Accessible: She provides her mobile number to the cleaners, making herself available for any questions or concerns they might have during the cleaning process.
  • Future Planning: She loves seeing the bathroom spotless, with the stains out of the grout, the mirrors sparkling, and the floors clean. She plans to continue requesting a focus on deep cleaning the bathroom and decides to ask the cleaners to deep clean the laundry room next time.


How should I communicate my preferences and needs to the cleaning service?

We can discuss your cleaning preferences when you book your appointment and I’ll be sure to make clear notes. Or we can chat when I arrive and before I start cleaning.

You can also leave a note for the cleaners detailing any areas you’d like special attention paid to. I find that many of my clients want us to focus extra efforts on the bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.

How can I ensure my pets are safe and comfortable during cleaning?

I recommend taking your pet for a walk, putting your pet in their kennel, or placing them in a spare room with their water and food for the duration of the visit.

It is helpful to know beforehand if you have any pets so I make sure a cleaner does not have any pet allergies. At the appointment, please let us know where your pet will be. It makes it easier for everyone, including your beloved pet!

What are the differences between various types of cleaning services (e.g., standard, deep, move-out)?

At Pristine Housekeepers, we offer a range of professional cleaning services to fit our client’s needs.

For instance, I find clients opt for deep cleaning when they notice grout that is stained or dirty, or trim that is dusty and in need of some serious attention. Our deep cleaning services are customised to your needs, and can also address commonly neglected areas such as inside cabinets or under appliances.

When we perform move in/move out cleaning, we focus on leaving the property in pristine condition for new occupants.

Our cleaning services also include standard cleaning, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, spring cleaning, and more.

How do I address any issues or dissatisfaction with the cleaning service?

Customer feedback is immensely important to me. The dozens of positive reviews for Pristine Housekeepers mean so much to me! I love hearing how we’ve done a thorough job cleaning and have helped make our client’s lives easier.

However, negative feedback is equally if not more important to me. If you are unhappy with something or have a concern, I want to know so I can make it right. So whether you simply want to say ‘thanks’ for a job well done or want an issue addressed, I am happy to speak with you.

Can I request the use of eco-friendly or specific cleaning products?

Absolutely. I prioritise eco-friendly cleaning products wherever I can (you can read my guide on eco-friendly carpet cleaners to hear some of my favourite environmentally friendly methods and products).

If you have specific concerns about the products we use, please do not hesitate to discuss them with us before your appointment. I always make a point to honour my client’s preferences and ensure I’m using products that align with their goals.

You May Also Like: Eco-Friendly Tips for Everyday Cleaning

How do I prepare for a cleaning service if I have allergies or health concerns?

If you have specific health concerns or allergies, it is important to notify your housekeeping service ahead of time. When I know in advance that a client has a particular allergy or health issue, I can do the necessary research and preparation to make sure I can accommodate them.

What should I know about the security and trustworthiness of cleaners?

Your home is your haven and your safe place. So it is understandable if it feels intimidating to let a stranger into your home and trust them to treat your home with the same respect as you do.

I am aware you may feel hesitant about trusting a new cleaner in your home. I find it helpful to know the right questions to ask before hiring a housekeeper. This can help you feel confident in your choice when hiring a housekeeper and more at ease.

At Pristine Housekeepers, we aim to be your trusted professional cleaner. When we enter your home, we treat it with the same level of care and respect as we would in our own home.

Do You Have More Questions on Housekeeping Etiquette?

Becky, owner of Pristine Housekeepers

I hope you found my guide to housekeeper etiquette helpful. I’m here to help you have the best cleaning outcome possible.

If you have more questions about what to expect during your first professional house cleaning, I would be happy to talk with you and go over any concerns. Contact us by email, phone, or by filling out our online form.

Founder & Director
In 2003, Becky started her own cleaning business based in western suburbs of Perth. With 20 years’ experience, she understands that cleaning is not just about scrubbing bathrooms and washing floors. Cleaning is more holistic than that, it encompasses routine and time management along with excellent customer service and reliability.