Maid service may be different from what is generally thought to be the historically prevalent services performed by a maid, and these services may be provided by both male and/or female individuals.
Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in affluent homes and profitable businesses, today a maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford, as a household domestic-help employee. Maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning, grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and tending to the household children.
In the Western world, comparatively few households can afford live-in domestic help employees, in lieu of live-in staff, a maid service is utilized as a periodic cleaner. In developing nations, differences found within income and social status between different socio-economic classes, lesser educated women, with less opportunity are believed to provide a labor source for domestic work.
Socio-economic opportunities, not being confined to any specific global location, may allow cleaning services to perform ‘cleaning’ as their source of business as a service.
There are thousands of residential cleaning businesses throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Historically and traditionally, cleaning was considered a woman’s role, but as more and more women have joined the workforce, the time pressure on families with children has grown, so paying a service for cleaning makes sense to persons who can afford it. Additionally, many modern homeowners lack the proper knowledge to use the safest and most effective cleaning products.
Maids, per se, perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning, folding clothes, grocery shopping, walking the family dog and taking care of children. Some maid services offer hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly work as well.
Reasons for use
Utilizing a maid service may be considered due to a number of personal factors, including but not limited to geographical location, social standing, lack of personal time, lack of experience. There are many reasons why individuals may consider hiring help around the house, especially with cleaning. It may, for example, prove easier for them to enjoy time with their family rather than spending time cleaning.
Maids services may be more expensive than simply hiring a part-time maid, but it offers a number of advantages. Usually the service will provide not only someone to do the cleaning, but also all of the necessary cleaning supplies. Also, as a bona fide employer, the service is responsible for withholding Social Security and other income taxes. Third, a service is insured and often bonded, so it can be held accountable if something is stolen or missing.
Examples of maid service :
Lady’s maid: a senior servant who reported directly to the lady of the house, but ranked beneath the Housekeeper, and accompanied her lady on travel. She took care of her mistress’s clothes and hair, and sometimes served as confidante.
House-maid or housemaid: a generic term for maids whose function was chiefly “above stairs”, and were usually a little older, and better paid. Where a household included multiple housemaids the roles were often sub-divided as below.
Head house-maid: the senior house maid, reporting to the Housekeeper. (Also called “House parlour maid” in an establishment with only one or two upstairs maids).
Parlour maid: they cleaned and tidied reception rooms and living areas by morning, and often served refreshments at afternoon tea, and sometimes also dinner. They tidied studies and libraries, and (with footmen) answered bells calling for service.
Chamber maid: they cleaned and maintained the bedrooms, ensured fires were lit in fireplaces, and supplied hot water.
Laundry maid: they maintained bedding and towels. They also washed, dried, and ironed clothes for the whole household, including the servants.
Under house parlour maid: the general deputy to the house parlour maid in a small establishment which had only two upstairs maids.
Nursery maid: also an “upstairs maid”, but one who worked in the children’s nursery, maintaining fires, cleanliness, and good order. Reported to the Nanny rather than the Housekeeper.
Kitchen maid: a “below stairs” maid who reported to the Cook, and assisted in running the kitchens.
Head kitchen maid: where multiple kitchen maids were employed, the “head kitchen maid” was effectively a deputy to the cook, engaged largely in the plainer and simpler cooking (sometimes cooking the servants’ meals).
Under kitchen maid: where multiple kitchen maids were employed these were the staff who prepared vegetables, peeled potatoes, and assisted in presentation of finished cooking for serving.
Scullery maid: the lowest grade of “below stairs” maid, reporting to the cook, the scullery maids were responsible for washing cutlery, crockery, and glassware, and scrubbing kitchen floors, as well as monitoring ovens while kitchen maids ate their own supper.
Between maid: roughly equivalent in status to scullery maids, and often paid less, the between maids in a large household waited on the senior servants (butler, housekeeper, and cook) and were therefore answerable to all three department heads, often leading to friction in their employment. Sometimes known by the name ‘tweeny’.
Still room maid: a junior maid employed in the still room; as the work involved the supply of alcohol, cosmetics, medicines, and cooking ingredients across all departments of the house, the still room maids were part of the “between staff”, jointly answerable to all three department heads.