Housekeeping as a profession has been around since the 1800s. Back in those days, housekeepers were often retained by wealthier households to do the day-to-day maintenance of the household and even manufacture common household goods such as soap and candles.
Ever since, it’s been an important career that has helped households, hotels, and other organizations keep things tidy and organized. To celebrate all of those who have worked in housekeeping, and all of those currently employed in this profession, a holiday week has been created in their honor. This holiday week is known as Housekeepers Week and it’s observed every year during the second full week of September.
The History Of Housekeeping Week
Humans have been maintaining their homes ever since the beginning of time. When humans lived in caves they had to keep them clean, and when human settlements sprang up with the invention of agriculture, humans had even more of a responsibility to keep their homes clean.
In ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, and Egypt, slaves were often used for housekeeping. But that began to change as the years went on. During the Middle Ages in Europe, housekeeping would largely fall to servants—at least, that was the case in wealthier households.
It was during this time that the home not only became a place for people to live but also became a status symbol, which is why there was an increased emphasis placed on housekeeping. In the 19th century, urbanization and the rise of industry led many households to rely on domestic servants.
This is when housekeeping officially became a profession and when many women began to work as domestic servants in other people’s homes. The 20th century increased the availability of household appliances to many households and this made housekeeping much more efficient than it previously had been.
Today, housekeeping is still an important career that keeps many homes, public spaces, hospitals, and hotels clean and organized. It’s likely that housekeeping will continue to be an important profession well into the future. That’s why Housekeeping Week was invented in 1981 by the Integrated Environment and Health Assessment (IEHA) as a way to honor this profession.
Observing Housekeeping Week
This week can be observed simply by thanking the housekeeper that might work for you, or the one that works for your office or school. If you don’t know any housekeepers, then you can always use the power of the Internet to do so using the hashtag #HousekeepingWeek on social media. Let’s all use this week to thank these professionals for the service and for keeping our spaces clean all year round.