- Make sure the house helper has the necessary access. Your house helper needs her own set of house keys
- Explain all housing operations. Make sure the house helper knows how to operate the heat/air conditioning, TV, washing machine, dishwasher and any other household appliances she may need to use. If you expect her to be answering the phone a lot or taking messages, make sure she is aware.
- Lay out kitchen rules. Explain which dishes and kitchenware are OK to use if she is going to be doing any cooking.
- Notify your home helper of expected visitors. Be sure your home helper is aware of any visitors you’re expecting each day. That includes pool cleaners or any other maintenance workers who may be around the house.
- Detail all pet care. Does your home helper need to let any pets out to go to the bathroom, walk them or feed them? Is there any weird behavior to look out for, such as digging under or jumping fences or excessive barking? They should know all this information.
Safety and health
- Discuss allergies and intolerances. Remind your home helper of any allergies or particular food issues your children or any family members may have and whether there are any items of food that are off limits, like super sugary items or your own stash of Rocky Road. For children with serious allergies, put food away that would be harmful to them.
- Go over cleaning chemicals and how to store these properly. You may need to go over the inventory of chemicals and detergents and make sure these are properly stored and used only as appropriate.
- Explain all the specifics of your vehicle. A nice thing to do is to program your GPS with the addresses of the school, the doctor’s office, dance class, soccer practice and the kids’ best friends’ homes. It may seem like a pain, but it’s easier than shouting directions over the phone while you’re at work.
- Update your auto insurance. Your auto insurance plan should be updated to cover your house helper if she’s going to be driving your car.
- Have a written protocol. For the first week, write down protocol until you get into a routine: Grocery days, expecting pool or on-call maintenance guy, important guests, what time to cook for dinner to prepare for your arrival, keeping track of the bills, calling or doing gardening, and others. With proper communication, the most optimum results in housekeeping will be achieved.
- Create a collaborative calendar. Consider making a calendar for her (and you) to refer to and encourage her to add to it as she gets more comfortable. On the calendar, schedule regular check-ins with your home helper to go over any concerns that come up.
Spread the word
- Let everyone know about your new home keeper. You will expect guests and you need to notify them to expect someone to accept them on your behalf. Moreover, he or she will be around the neighbourhood and may ask them for help in case of an emergency.