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Hotel Housekeeping

5 Tips to Help Hotel Housekeeping Help You

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You know that feeling when you get home after working all day and open your door to an immaculately tidy house? Yeah, me neither; that never happens. But I can imagine it, based on the pure joy I feel when I open my hotel room after trekking all day and I see a clean room. Clean towels! Made up beds! No trash!

At 15, I started my first official job as a housekeeper at a motel close to home. It was one of the hardest jobs I ever held. I actually enjoyed setting a room to rights, creating order out of chaos, but it was physically demanding and I could never get the hang of cleaning a room quickly and correctly. I could do it quickly and poorly, or slowly and correctly, but never quickly and correctly. My job only lasted a summer, but it gave me a tremendous appreciation for the profession. I also realized how small things can help make a housekeeper’s job approach the quickly and correctly goal. In essence, here are 5 great tips to help your hotel housekeeper help you.

1. Keep a Tidy Room

Try to keep some order to your belongings. At some hotels, housekeepers are not allowed to touch your belongings. So if they’re strewn about the room, it can make it very difficult to clean properly. I generally organize our items quickly before we leave the hotel for the day. Bathroom clutter is the worst. I use a washcloth spread on the bathroom counter to organize all our toiletries in one spot, making it much easier to clean around.

2. Put Trash in Its Place

Likewise, you can’t expect the housekeeper to know what’s trash to you and what’s not. Do a quick room scan and place trash in its can. If we’ve generated a particularly large amount, for example from a carry out order for last night’s dinner, I take the trash out of the room to one of the large trash cans in the hotel. Housekeepers’ carts have fairly limited room for trash, so I like to help them out.

3. Hang Up Towels

Many hotels now ask you to hang your towels after just one use in order to help minimize their environmental footprint. Once used, I place towels I’d like replaced all in one location, and I always do this when I’m leaving the hotel for good. My hope is that the housekeeper can then pick up the pile of towels in one swoop, rather than searching for them throughout the room.

4. Use the Do Not Disturb Sign

No one really wants to walk in on someone sleeping, or doing anything, really. Use your Do Not Disturb sign. Everyone will appreciate it. Did you manage to snag a late check out? Keep the Do Not Disturb sign on your door until you leave that day. This avoids confusion and prevents your housekeeper from starting to clean your room if you’re going to be checking out later that day.

5. Show Them Some Love

Just a few more tips for giving back to the housekeeping team that plays a big role in making your stay pleasant.

  • Organize the room a bit before you check out: trash in the bin, towels in one pile. Not only does it help the housekeeping staff, but it helps you to find all of your belongings before you leave.
  • Please don’t swipe anything from their cart without asking. At some hotels, the items on the cart are counted and stocked sufficiently to get them through their allotted rooms for the day. It’s also their personal area, so it’s nice to respect that.
  • Finally, tip your housekeeper. They work so hard. I generally tip around $5 per day. It’s a small price for such a big reward.

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Andrea is a single mom in Arlington, Virginia with a 15-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. Her children took their first trips when they were just four…

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