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Light housekeeping duties maintain an orderly and company-ready home to ensure cleanliness and peace of mind. Homeowners' expectations regarding light housekeeping performed by an elder care, home health care, independent care or childcare provider are for the worker to maintain the house to their standards or better. Homeowners should discuss details with the worker to define their preferences clearly and to prevent misunderstanding about what light housekeeping entails. Oftentimes, light housekeeping duties are limited to only the immediate living areas of care giving.
Light housekeeping duties do not include moving furniture or display items to clean under them. The degree and detail of cleaning varies based on individual preferences, but the standard duties are to maintain order and an acceptable level of cleanliness.
That includes vacuuming carpeted floors and rugs throughout the house to remove dirt and debris, and dusting all shelving and display surfaces, including knickknacks, art and frames. The worker also sweeps and mops ceramic, stone, tile, wood, laminate or linoleum flooring surfaces, straightens and tidies all rooms, organizes closets and drawers to remove clutter and cleans interior and exterior windows, sills and tracks to remove smudges, water spots and dirt. Wiping marks and dust from mirrors and tending to houseplants, such as watering, trimming and feeding them to maintain or improve their appearance, also are light housekeeping duties.
The kitchen is the workhorse and heart of a home, and its degree of cleanliness is often the measure of the rest of the home's cleanliness. The kitchen must always be ready as a place for food preparation, gathering and enjoying company.
Light housekeeping includes clearing sinks of dirty dishes by washing them or loading them into the dishwasher. If washed by hand, the dishes should be dried and returned to cupboards. Otherwise, clean dishes are unloaded from the dishwasher and put away. The worker also wipes sinks and faucets clean and dries them with a towel. Wiping down appliances and removing spills and streaks are light housekeeping duties, too, as are wiping, cleaning and sanitizing counters, preparing and placing recyclable items in their appropriate bins, taking trash to the curb or outdoor refuse receptacle for pickup and putting away groceries delivered by a grocery service.
Bathrooms are full of bacterial and viral germs that can compromise health, but regular cleaning reduces the risk of illness significantly.
Sinks and counters need to be wiped and sanitized. Tubs and showers can be lightly washed, rinsed and dried with a towel. Toilets require scrubbing to disinfect them and wiping to ensure their cleanliness. Replacing used hand towels and bath towels with clean towels also are among light housekeeping duties.
Light housekeeping concentrates on keeping adults' bedrooms tidy and clean. It also includes putting away toys and books in children's bedrooms. Toys also should be sanitized and kept clean to prevent the spread of germs.
The worker removes soiled linens from beds and puts clean linens on them. He also adjusts shades and draperies to ensure the room is at a comfortable temperature and has a relaxing atmosphere.
Laundry may or may not be included among light housekeeping duties. If it is, the worker sorts the dirty laundry, pre-treats stains and washes and dries the items. She also folds the cleaned items or places them on hangers and puts them in their proper places as well as irons items as needed. She also may gather dry clean-only garments to take to a dry cleaning business.
Kimberly Contreras has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has written for several websites on women's issues relating to self sufficiency, single parenthood, small business and marketing. Contreras attended the University of Maryland where she studied English and journalism.