Is My Maid Stealing?

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 2:21 pm

Conventional wisdom seems to hold that all maids pilfer. If you’ve found a maid through networking this is almost certainly not true. Most maids have a very good grasp of the fact that, like Caesar’s wife, they must be above suspicion. They want to keep their jobs and get recommendations.

Maids are easy to blame – any time my husband’s wallet fails to make it to the nightstand someone is accused of stealing it. Invariably the thief takes her ill-gotten gains and hides them in the washing machine. Obviously the maid we hire isn’t very bright since she always hides it in the same spot.
 Fear of being thought a thief can lead to the failure to clean closet floors or drawers unless you are very insistent – if she doesn’t clean it you won’t think she’s been tempted by the emergency stash you keep in your sock drawer.

Someone I knew had a maid for years. Suddenly, the emergency stash she kept in her drawer started to lose money periodically. Of course the maid was blamed, but because of her long service she was never confronted. The fact that this occurred during a period when my acquaintance’s teenage son was bringing friends to an empty home for lunch each day never set off any alarm bells.

The Maid and the Toilet Paper

Everyone I know buys toiletries at a superstore and is mildly certain that the maid helps herself when she needs soap. That children or husband might replenish the bathrooms with soap never crosses their minds. (OK, it is hard to believe, I admit.)
If you seriously think your maid is pilfering you owe it to her to monitor the soap before and after she comes. A month should be long enough to convince you that the soap only goes down in the pantry when it increases in the bathrooms.

Sometimes, if you are truly anal, you will note that the fresh roll of toilet paper left the pantry and found its way to the bathroom but the old roll had only been half used. Presumably you don’t think your maid is a victim of Montezuma’s Revenge (you think of a polite way of putting it). Obviously your maid must be risking her job to stuff the half-finished toilet roll in her purse. If you had followed my advice and taken out the trash before the maid came and checked the trash she did throw away, your suspicions would change radically. Your maid is not a thief – she is just crazy.

Maids like places that they have cleaned to look nice. Money is no object to you – after all – you’re paying someone else to clean your house when you could do it very easily yourself. Rather than leave a roll of toilet paper that your child will probably use without replacing before you get to see the lovely job your maid did – the maid changes to a fresh roll. At least you won’t look at the bathroom (left otherwise spotless since said child probably snuck out without washing his hands because you haven’t said ‘wash your hands’ 587 times this month) and ask why didn’t she change the empty roll.

Checking the trash can also lead to the somewhat disconcerting discovery of half the jewelry in the house ending in the vacuum bag. Earrings fall behind the nightstand and the maid doesn’t see them, or drawers aren’t emptied before cleaning and the small pile of earrings in your daughter’s drawer find their way into the vacuum.

The one time I know that my maid took something was from a friend’s, on my behalf. I hadn’t bought new vacuum cleaner bags & the maid, having a good sense of my tendency to need to be reminded before I replace cleaning supplies, borrowed one from one of my friends. She made it very clear that she was using Linda’s bag and that I would need to pay Linda back (by giving the maid one of the bags out of the fresh batch to take back to Linda.) It did absolutely nothing about my procrastination in buying cleaning supplies but it did make me appreciate how important it was to my maid not to be thought a thief.

If you’re new – I wrote the How to Hire A Maid like a book. Click Table of Contents for future articles and links to old blogs in a more comprehensible order – or just click here & go to the bottom to read it straight through by scrolling up to each article.


  1. leebo said,

    03.07.07 at 4:44 pm

    put grandma’s mail story up

  2. Darlene's cleaning LLC said,

    12.08.14 at 6:57 pm

    Really , no one is going to steal a roll of toilet paper. Its 1.50$. For four rolls.