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Housekeeping refers to the management of duties and chores involved in the running of a household, such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, shopping,laundry and bill pay. These tasks may be performed by any of the household members, or by other persons hired to perform these tasks. The term is also used to refer to the money allocated for such use. By extension, an office or organization, as well as the maintenance of computer storage systems.
A housekeeper is a person employed to manage a household, and the domestic staff. According to the Victorian Era Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, the housekeeper is second in command in the house and “except in large establishments, where there is a house steward, the housekeeper must consider his/herself as the immediate representative of her mistress”.
It includes activities such as housecleaning, that is, disposing of rubbish, cleaning dirty surfaces, dusting and vacuuming. It may also involve some outdoor chores, such as removing leaves from rain gutters, washing windows and sweeping doormats. The term housecleaning is often used also figuratively in politics and business, for the removal of unwanted personnel, methods or policies in an effort at reform or improvement.
Housecleaning is done to make the home look and smell better and be safer and easier to live in. Without housecleaning lime scalecan build up on taps, mold grows in wet areas, smudges on glass surfaces, dust forms on surfaces, bacterial action make the garbage disposal and toilet smell and cobwebs accumulate. Tools used in housecleaning include vacuums, brooms, mops and sponges, together with cleaning products such as detergents, disinfectants and bleach.
A maid, or housemaid or maidservant, is a female person employed in domestic service. Although now usually found only in the most wealthy of households, in the Victorian era domestic service was the second largest category of employment in England and Wales, after agricultural work.
Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford, as was historically the case for many households. In the contemporary Western world, comparatively few households can afford live-in domestic help, usually compromising on periodic cleaners. In less developed nations, very large differences in the income of urban and rural households and between different socio-economic classes, fewer educated women and limited opportunities for working women ensures a labour source for domestic work.
Maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and taking care of children. In many places in some poor countries, maids often take on the role of a nurse.
Legislation in many countries makes certain living conditions, working hours, or minimum wages a requirement of domestic service. Nonetheless, the work of a maid has always been hard, involving a full day, and extensive duties.Historically many maids suffered from Prepatellar bursitis, an inflammation of the Prepatellar bursa caused by long periods spent on the knees for purposes of scrubbing and fire-lighting, leading to the condition attracting the colloquial name of “Housemaid’s Knee”.
The word “maid” itself is short for “maiden”, meaning “virgin”. In great houses of England, domestic workers, particularly those low in the hierarchy, such as maids and footmen, were expected to remain unmarried while in service, and even highest-ranking workers such as butlers could be fired for marrying.