Why Household and Estate Managers must know the lost art of fine housekeeping

In our continued commitment to excellence for our students and Graduates serving our clients, we’ve noted a shortcoming that we intend to fix.

Over the past 41 years, our Graduates have often entered households where veteran Housekeepers held the keys to the fine Housekeeping secrets in the home. They completed the cleaning with such excellence that Starkey Household Managers did not need to focus on it. They had other priorities.

 

 

 

Gradually, the tradition became that Housekeepers were the Housekeeping experts, and Household/Estate Managers took that knowledge for granted. Slowly, Housekeeping knowledge has dissipated to the point where the knowledge has all but disappeared, leaving Principals with seemingly high and unrealistic standards.

Well, it’s my belief that Principals’ standards are not too high.

It’s that Housekeeping as an expertise has all but disappeared.  We recently taught a class of young men and women in their ‘20s and ‘30s serving multiple Principals. Their homes were disorganized and dirty.  They were stuffing sheets and towels into closets and using products inappropriate for surfaces. They saw ironing as superfluous. The staff had no training and no understanding of what was possible in keeping a fine home.

When I look at Housekeepers today, I see a few serious issues. They are only concerned with surface cleaning and are unfamiliar with what deep cleaning really entails. They don’t see the detail behind, underneath or above; it’s harder for them to look at their work from different perspectives and angles, especially from the Principals’ perspective (do they lay on the bed to see what the ceiling looks like? The Principal will surely see any issues when they do). In addition, they don’t perform tasks systematically; they don’t have a written system for accomplishing zones and task sheets in the home.

I’m also seeing a lack of knowledge when it comes to cleaning products. Housekeepers today have a harder time understanding what or how to use cleaning products and tools, whether it’s polishing silver or cleaning wood floors or tile.

Why would they know these things? Parents who both work generally don’t have the time or energy to teach their children how to clean well. Likewise, they wouldn’t have learned it in their school curriculum or from supervisors who also have no knowledge of this obscure and seemingly unnecessary skill set themselves.

Fine Housekeeping has become a lost and forgotten art. Principals are desperate to find staff members who are capable of properly cleaning a home. In addition, the students we are training or trying to place all like to say they know about Fine Housekeeping, but when asked to show us, they don’t know as much as they think they know. Household and Estate Managers have no choice but to now make Housekeeping a priority.

You may have heard me say, “Addition and Subtraction is to Accounting as Housekeeping is to Household Management.”

If you really don’t know it, you’re not fully knowledgeable of upholding your Principal’s lifestyle.

My clients are consistently sharing, “Why is it that no one but me understands what real housekeeping looks like in a home?” They are correct.  It’s a lost tradition that must re-emerge in 2020.

Starkey is offering Housekeeping courses both in clients’ homes and here at the Starkey Mansion.

Contact us for our 40-hour Housekeeping curriculum and upcoming course dates. Or ask about setting a date for Starkey to come to your Principal’s home to help educate staff about Fine Housekeeping.

About Mrs. Mary Louise Starkey

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Mrs. Mary Louise Starkey – Founder of Starkey International Institute for Household Management

Mary Louise Starkey, the “First Lady of Service” and the founder and visionary of the Starkey International Institute for Household Management, coined the term “Household Manager” in 1981, and with it, she launched a movement.

She then set about to create a Private Service profession by opening the world’s first modern-day educational Institute for Household and Estate Managers, Butlers, Personal Assistants, and Private Chefs. Mrs. Starkey began writing about the profession, and eventually developed Starkey’s patented “Starkey Service Management System,” the world’s first advanced management tool for Private Service. She has continued to set the standard for Private Service in education and in Private Service placement for nearly 41 years.

Today, she has 18 patents, copyrights, trademarks and publications. The United States military deemed Mrs. Starkey the “First Lady of Service” due to her years supporting and educating Enlisted Aides, the soldiers who serve the White House, Admirals and Generals. Her clientele includes Old Guard families, legacy families, CEOs, tech entrepreneurs, entertainment personalities and diplomatic leaders across the country and abroad.

Mrs. Mary Starkey is passionately devoted to changing the outdated paradigm of “servitude” into “Service as an Expertise,” and building a profession that is world-recognized. In 2007, Starkey was featured in journalist Robert Frank’s best-seller Richistan, and once again in his 2011 book The High Beta Rich. In recent years, she has been regularly featured in many media outlets, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, BBC, Town and Country, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Costco and the London Times.

Mrs. Starkey serves the high-net-worth and their family offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, China, Anguilla and India through private training, education for employers, public media for openings, staffing of certified Graduates and other education. A dynamic and passionate public speaker and natural storyteller, Mrs. Starkey continues her vision for the art form of Service by appearing at international conventions, both here and abroad, at seminars, corporate events and hospitality forums around the globe.

For more information, please contact:
Starkey International Institute for Household Management
Toll Free: 800-888-4904 or Phone: 720-788-3398
Email: services@starkeyintl.com

Private Service Titles & Positions

Private Service Titles & Positions

Terms and Titles continue to be challenging for the Private Service industry due to old cultural patterns of the profession. In addition, the lack of knowledge and management expectations of both the employers and employees continue to be difficult to navigate in Private Service. It’s also because the industry as a group has not been able to agree upon titles, as each position is unique. The main factors that contribute to salary are the difficulty factor of the position, the qualifications necessary for the position, the location and cost of living.

Service Management as an Expertise

The term “Service Management” has taken on new life with Starkey and has become a highly desired profession on the national and international stage. Much more comprehensive than Customer Service, it refers to one’s in-depth knowledge of and ability to successfully position service to succeed. Service Management focuses on meeting expectations, the Relationship of Service, sophisticated Service etiquette and Service as a professional expertise in any style or environment. It can apply to those performing Household Management, Concierge Services, Butlering or Senior Services. Service positions continue to grow in hospitality, private homes, concierge companies, private clubs and in senior communities. Salaries typically begin at $50,000 per year.

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