Light Housekeeping vs. Full-Charge Housekeeping – What is the Difference?


TIP ALERT: Make sure if you’re putting these terms on your resume you have an understanding of the definitions

Housekeeping services have become an indispensable part of life for many busy professionals today. Depending on the household’s needs, this service sector is seen in many forms, from basic maintenance services to extensive roles. The vast array of responsibilities that can come under professional housekeeping is generally divided into two broad categories: light housekeeping and full-charge housekeeping. And if you’ve been mulling over hiring housekeeping staff, the difference between the two terms becomes quite pertinent. Here’s a handy guide explaining how they differ.

Responsibilities of Light Housekeeping

As the name implies, light housekeeping refers to the basic household duties essential to maintain a tidy living space. Private home staff hired under this role assume the responsibility of maintaining an orderly living space for you and doing the most common maintenance tasks. Light housekeeping duties are also typically limited to areas of the household that the client commonly uses.

Most significantly, the light housekeeping staff will take on general cleaning duties. This includes dusting surfaces, clearing and organizing clutter, sweeping and mopping main walking areas, keeping common areas in order, etc.

Light housekeeping entails most of the day-to-day tasks required to maintain a household in a clean, orderly state. The responsibilities and duties of a light housekeeping service can change depending on the household’s needs. For example, light housekeeping staff can also take out the trash, a daily nuisance in any home.

Hiring light housekeeping services also brings a major helping hand in the kitchen, another aspect of household maintenance that requires daily attention. This kind of staff will extend their hand in the everyday meal preparation and take care of the after-meal clean-ups for you. They wash, put away the plates after meals, and wipe down the countertops.

They will further help manage your domestic life by organizing your drawers, shelves, and closets. You can expect them to clean your bedrooms by making the beds and changing the sheets.

In addition, light housekeeping may also involve routine outdoor chores like watering plants, shoveling snow off the driveway, or mowing the lawn. It is the equivalent of a household assistant and involves helping with most everyday household tasks.

So what kind of household duties does light housekeeping exclude? Heavy-duty tasks generally fall outside the light housekeeping category — jobs like deep cleaning, scrubbing floors, carpet cleaning, and moving heavy furniture are specifically excluded. If you’re looking for a home staff who does everything, you should consider full-charge housekeeping.

Responsibilities of Full-Charge Housekeeping

Full-charge housekeeping service encompasses a comprehensive range of tasks and responsibilities specifically tailored for the complete maintenance and management of the overall household. This role can best be understood as an executive housekeeper, where complete, autonomous management of the employer’s household is the basic commitment.

The duties recognized under the purview of full-charge housekeeping begin with deep cleaning. This refers to all the intensive cleaning duties required regularly but infrequently to maintain the house in perfect condition. Examples include cleaning glass windows, ceiling fans, washing carpets, and scrubbing floors.

Full-charge housekeepers are also expected to have the know-how to take care of antique decorative pieces and clean them regularly. Besides that, they are also hired with the expectation of running daily errands. They can take care of the regular grocery shopping and run any other errands their employer requires, such as dropping off packages or picking up the dry cleaning.

While the common duties of a full-charge housekeeper can be narrowed down to the above, their responsibilities are more expansive than that. This service is generally demanded by clients who require a reliable professional to take over the complete management of their household. While the cleaning and organizing chores are an important part of full-charge housekeeping, they must also represent the household to guests competently, coordinate with maintenance contractors, and manage other household staff.

Difference between Light Housekeeping and Full-Charge Housekeeping

Light and full-charge housekeeping are similar, as they have overlapping job duties. So, understanding the intent and job commitment behind these two roles is essential to realize why housekeeping services are restricted in this manner.

Light housekeeping is aimed at taking care of everyday chores in the household that do not require intensive effort. The rule of thumb for light housekeeping is that it aims to bring order and tidiness to the areas of the household most frequented by the client. So, duties such as sweeping common areas and clearing the dishes are standard.

On the other hand, full-charge housekeeping begins where light housekeeping duties end. Strictly in terms of maintenance duties, the main difference between the two is that full-charge housekeeping involves all the deep cleaning tasks that require intensive effort and some experience.

In addition, full-charge housekeeping is given that name because the service comes with the commitment of complete household management. It opposes light housekeeping, where the staff member is expected to perform basic cleaning and organizing as a household assistant.

Full-charge housekeepers are expected to do everything necessary to maintain a house well. Running errands, managing other household staff, and coordinating with maintenance contractors are some duties that fall under this added commitment.

Factors to Consider when Choosing between Light Housekeeping and Full-Charge Housekeeping

Now that you understand how and why light and full-charge housekeeping is differentiated, you can choose a housekeeping service. The most important question you want to ask yourself is, how much help you need.

You have to consider the question from both ways. On the one hand, the whole point of hiring housekeeping staff is to delegate home maintenance tasks to qualified personnel. Conversely, you invite a stranger into your most private sanctum to take over those duties.

Light housekeeping is perfect when you want to gain the most value from housekeeping services with the least intrusion. You can hire a qualified, trustworthy professional to do the needful behind the scenes and still have your house to yourself.

Some people are so busy with their work lives that they need all the time they can get. Such a hectic lifestyle warrants a full-charge housekeeper who can salvage as much time of your day as possible while taking over all those little duties competently.

So, these are some crucial factors you need to consider when hiring them. Hopefully, this article helped you better understand the difference between light housekeeping and full-charge housekeeping. You can contact us now if you want to hire a qualified housekeeper.


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