It’s no secret that every house has its secrets. Fortunately for their owners, their four walls safely guard most of them. Unless there’s a two-eared stranger who may accidentally (or not) overhear something that wasn’t meant for anyone else.
So when someone asked housekeepers on Reddit, “What do you know about the owners of the houses that they don’t know you know?” it was destined to become a heated thread. With so many secrets anonymously spilled, their responses give us a glimpse into the complex, sometimes weird, even dark, other times plain scandalous world of random people we walk by on the streets.
Scroll down for some of the most interesting stories, and let us know what you think of them in the comments below!
#1I used to do housekeeping for a while. I found out that the guy i worked for had a wife AND a mistress. He would bring each at different times to his vacation apartment that i serviced. It was sad because when he was with his wife he was really sweet and sensitive and they would just have a relaxing time if i did happen to see him. They would also clean up after themselves a little so the job was a bit easier while they stayed.
When he would bring his girlfriend he was much ruder to me in front of her (i think trying to be suave and look powerful) and they would both trash the place, she would always leave her underwear, dirty dishes, bottles and cigarettes everywhere.
He didn’t know (or at least didn’t acknowledge) that these women were clearly different people. He referred to both of them as his wife and would call them both “babe”. He seemed unaware or uncaring that i clearly knew they were different women. One was 20 years younger than the other!
I felt sad for the wife because she clearly didn’t know about her husband’s mistress but it was such a well paying job and i needed the money so i never said anything.
Image credits: MiloMolly
#2Once cleaned a house for a woman that worked from home. It was a huge house and there she was at her desk on the phone...
I started cleaning that area and she chatted away...
"Mh'hm. I got me a white b**** cleanin' up after me. If my mama could see me now. Yes sir! She worked for them white folk thirty years. Imma beat this little white girl like them folk did to my mama." After saying this she turned in her chair and saw me as I was walking by, as if I just come into the room. She had no clue I heard her.
I feel where she's coming from but I stopped going to her house... for obvious reasons.
Image credits: Starving_Slacker
#3This was a while ago when i was a custodian at a nice residential tower. One guy would show up around 6 pm everyday from his job( when i was just starting). One day his girlfriend shows up in the parking garage, as im walking by. They start a LOUD arguement, and i cant help to overhear. She says she is keeping his baby, etc. Week Later, found out he is married with 3 kids already. Even met the kiddos a couple of times in the halls. YEAH. Wow. But i dont think he knew anybody was nearby with that arugement...
Image credits: Wrest216
#4I knew the couple I was cleaning for would get a divorce about 6 months before they did when I found a note from his lover in his coat pocket.
Image credits: Bentish
#5A couple years ago I had a client who's daughter was drunk driving and hit something or someone (not clear). She was caught, had her license taken away and had to go to AA. She didn't go and was caught drunk driving again so she was facing prison time. That's when her parents suddenly "discovered" a once in a lifetime opportunity for her to finish getting her degree in Israel. The court allowed this (I'm assuming they have a damn good lawyer) but they told everyone that the reason she left is because she was singled out as one of the top minds in the nation. The only reason I know about it is because I saw the court papers on her bed before she left.
Image credits: Zero111of160cru
#6Not the housekeeper, but,
I thought I had this brilliant hiding spot. And when I lost my wallet, my Maid told me “you should hide it with those papers inside your nightstand next time”.
I felt such fear. She knows the house better than any of us.
Image credits: AndreZB2000
#7While cleaning this older couples home who were your typical, sweet grandma/grandpa type. Very soft spoken and always tipped us great. We do a great job cleaning and are thorough, including vacuuming under the bed. Their bed had no bed skirt which would have made it easy, but the amount of s*x and BDSM type toys were enough for me to "nope" and I now I can never look at them the same. Good for them though I guess! Lol
Image credits: Yahukenma
#8Honestly, everything. I worked in a house manager/butler type of position, and there is nothing you don't find out eventually. The trajectory of the toothpaste droplets on the mirror would tell me which of the women had spent the night. I knew passwords to computers, alarm systems, bank accounts and safes that I hadn't necessarily been provided with. Drugs, kinks, medical history, sordid family secrets, skeletons in the closet, you name it. I think that's the reason salaries get obscene if you stay long enough, your silence is literally golden.
Image credits: CopingMole
#9I’m a nanny. The last family worked for I overheard the Dad calling his insurance asking if a certain Rehab was covered. He talks LOUD naturally. I heard what he was going for and everything. Nobody knew not family not friends. Just me and them. They never knew I knew.
Image credits: Thesugarsky
#10My friend and I used to clean for a Scientologist couple and we definitely looked at all the “secret” books in their cupboard
Image credits: boatyboatwright
#11Buddy of mine used to clean houses with his mom. He told me about this one massive mansion they would clean and how there were no mirrors in the entire house. There also weren’t a lot of windows and if there were, they had thick drapes. He met the family only once and told me they were very pale and quiet people.
He worked for f**king vampires
Image credits: drop-mylife-away
#12Not a house keeper but a nanny. A family once took me on vacation with them so I could watch their kids while they‘d go out and explore the area. That week, my bed was the couch in the living room. It’s late at night, the kids are sleeping, I’m laying on the couch and the parents get back. The dad says, “is she sleeping” referring to me? I didn’t say anything so apparently he assumed yes. He then started farting very loudly.
Image credits: sisof2
#13The wife was too attached to her mother. The husband worked crazy hours and often had to travel internationally. One time, Husband was gone and she had contractors build the basement into a large suite. By the time he was back, his mother-in-law had moved, from Texas to Utah, into his home. The mother-in-law tried to manage the househould while my employers were away at work. The husband ended up buying the mother-in-law an apartment 20 minutes away. He also gave me use of the family vehicles as an apology. About a decade later, they're still together, but have moved accross the country to escape the extended family.
Image credits: KoalasAndPenguins
#14Working in hotels is similar to cleaning someone’s house, because those comfortable will lay it out for you. You can tell if someone is messy or tidy at home, how well they take care their things, what they eat, how much they drink, what medical problems they may have, and if you get the chance to meet them you can piece together why they live the way they do by telling their stories.
I never made fun of our guests or judged them. That would be so unfair and intrusive.
Image credits: silly-noodle
#15My mom cleaned a family home for over a decade. Elder parents, adult daughter, and kid grandchildren. The adult daughter was taking s**ts in the downstairs litter box where the elder parents lived and she purposefully would leave a little on the floor for her parents to pick up. My mom never told us how she figured out who was the "poop-itrator". Nothing too scandalous just a little weird and funny, but my mom has been cleaning houses and commercial buildings forever she has so many stories.
Image credits: piishax33
#16House cleaner of two clients who are...well...were dating eachother. Guy client (we will call N) has no clue what we know about him, female client (we will call L) is a little more in the loop of what we know.
N apparently cheated on L with a woman (K) who broke up his previous marriage(s). L found out and dumped his ass. He tried to get back together with L even calling and texting multiple times a day. He did that for two weeks and suddenly went quiet, which clued L that he was sleeping with K again.
I cleaned a few days later and sure enough, Ks shoes were hidden under the couch (not a usual place). I didn't realize being in a soap opera was part of the job description.
Image credits: throwawaymoldylies
#17They did well to hide it but I know both of them are having affairs. She gets really giddy the week she meets her lover. She is usually quite dowdy in the way she dresses, but puts on much younger looking items to meet her man. The week she doesn't meet him is the week she is more glum but gets bombarded with messages so she is stuck in her phone.
He, on the other hand, he is a lot harder to catch. I find seemingly innocuous handwritten telephone numbers and names (always female) on scraps of paper. He is a professional that works all over the world and travels a lot and has a massive network so it is part of the job. However, in his bin, wrapped in tissue paper I'll find a torn off section of paper with a room number and presumably time written on it. This method is used with at least 7 different women judging by the different styles of handwriting. I'm pretty sure he is banging more than that though.
Image credits: imakeenwon
#18Man of the house ask me and the other cleaning crew ladies if we have ever seen this type.of dog leash. Holds up what is clearly a under bed restraint system looking confused. I didn't say s**t. We all looked at each other like "f*** no im not telling him" he says "mmm, maybe she wants a dog. Why was it under the mattress ???" He just wandered off dragging this thing behind him.
He was a nice guy worked a lot, tipped well, gave us holiday bonuses. She was a trophie wife, and was not nice to him. They divorced while i still worked their, he got a dog named mayonaise and was much happier. It was a rescue grey hound. Sweet dog. I don't live in that town anymore but i hope mr jim is happy still.
Image credits: Kantotheotter
#19I clean for an elderly lady who is still quite sharp and feisty. She was a Boeing inspector in the 60s and 70s, and stood up to a lot of men in order to make sure the planes were up to code. And she did all this as a black woman and a mother. At some point she divorced and later in life remarried, and cared for her husband as he developed dementia and eventually passed away. She tells me about her life without a trace of sentiment, everything is matter of fact and lighthearted. But I see the photographs she keeps of her husband all over the house, ones of them together as well as of him young and handsome in uniform, long before she ever met him when they were middle-aged. I know how it is to lose someone to dementia, but I can only imagine it being your spouse. Sometimes when I call her to confirm that I’m coming over, she sounds deflated and lonely when she first picks up before she switches into her telephone voice.
She’s never told me how deeply she still loves him or how painful it was to see him slipping away, how lonely it is living with only his photographs and memories. How that need for one particular person never goes away. But even though I can’t know exactly, I know.
Image credits: AbsurdBird_
#20My mom cleaned house for a well off family for a long time, I would go help her occasionally. We knew alllllll the ins and outs of their teenage son’s custody battle, and how much money they were throwing into lawyers and court hearings.
Image credits: thatowllady
#21Our maid service found our positive pregnancy test in the bathroom trash, after presumably finding negative pregnancy tests in the bathroom trash for the previous 12 months. Left us a nice little congratulations note on my wife’s nightstand.
Image credits: fizzleguy
#22That she got a DUI. Typical religious white collar family; husband, wife, and 4 teen kids. She had one of those at home breathalyzer tests from the court sitting in the master bathroom, it takes your picture as you blow into it and it sends it to your probation officer. I only know because I was on probation a few years ago and had one too. Curiosity got the best of me and I looked at her public record...yup. DUI and she messed up on probation too, had another court date. After that I started noticing 12 step books and such.
Image credits: LunaTheFerret
#23I was cleaning the house of a woman with a young teenager. His room used to be in the basement but she said he kept sneaking out at night so she moved him upstairs. I was cleaning his room and found condoms under his lampshade when I was dusting and some pictures of girls fell out of his Harry Potter book. I know she would have been really upset if she knew. I never said anything.
Image credits: PunnyButNotThatFunny
#24Well, not a house cleaner, however do clean a specific news station and I won't tell you which anchor drinks on the job, but they leave all the evidence (empty little shot bottles) in the bathroom trashcan. Lol, like we don't know, bro!
Image credits: awesomefunburg
Eventually we find everything.
Mainly where the [adult] toys are, where dad hides all his empty energy drink cans, where mom stores all her shopping purchases with tags still on them... parents in general hide their unusual items in the most usual places. Simple boxes in bedroom drawers, in random linen closets, mostly readily able to find and just out of they way (I've helped move several families and doing the checks for packing has gotten some interesting results)
We know when the parents are tired and dont want to come home. We know sometimes the bar trips the parent takes before coming home.
We know schedules that they say are the reason aren't really the reason
We know personal preferences they have over the years to any random assortment of thing. Seriously who buys mayo to put on everything as their condiment of choice?
Some things that we know, they know we do and accept it. Alot of the stuff we know, we find out and DEFINITELY play dumb with.
First milestones in nannying are a big one. Keep that to the parents finding the first tooth we found days ago, the walking steps they took yesterday were really the first today. Why take those moments from parents needlessly is our perspective.
Housekeeping is usually the who is dirtiest. I know which parent doesnt brush their teeth every day. Which parent is having an affair with a coworker and left behind a recognizable item on accident.
We know that they dont even consider or think much about us knowing all these things.
The worst was accidentally listening to my bosses get it on. They had left the monitor for the baby in their room. It was not turned off and they to this day do not know I heard them (and turned off the monitor) lol
Image credits: Grey_Kit
#26Me and my mom were housekeepers. I did my best to get in and out and not learn much but there's a lot of unhappy people. Closet druggies, alcoholics. Animal abusers. Questionable parents. They try and hide it but you can't hide that stuff.
Although I assume they know I know, there are some really disgusting people. People letting their kids trash the house, imagine middle school age kids spitting tooth paste on the mirror then squeezing a bottle of tooth paste out on the 2 sink counter then spreading it from one end to the other and slapping their hands on the mirror. Eating rotten food, as in asking me to clean out the fridge and me throwing away old bad food. They then pull it out of the trash saying no it's fine.
Image credits: Rottified
#27Not a housekeeper but a friend did some contractor work. A client wanted to remove some of the drop ceiling and replace it with drywall. Well, a few ceiling tiles removed, and falls out a ton of crushed beer cans and used condoms. The family had a very active teenager.
Image credits: ThrowMeAwayAccount08
#28Our cleaning person actually found a hidden drawer in my nightstand even I didn't know about. We thought things were disappearing for months before finding the drawer ourselves and realizing he was putting things in there while cleaning. Had a good laugh about that one.
Image credits: some0ne3lse
#29Parents owned a janitorial service. "Find something no one else wants to do and then charge the hell out of them for it." They found memos on a company president's desk proving that the lumber company was secretly breaking laws and deforesting in areas that were protected. I remember listening to long, intense discussions between them at the kitchen table about the threats to family and livelihood if they blew the whistle in our small rural town.
#30All these other comments are great but I feel like I am the only one here that knows the location of the missing socks
#31Not a housekeeper, but a petsitter. I'm not going through people drawers and shit, but just being in people's houses has taught me a lot about how people are.
My wealthier clients tend to be extremely unhappy with their lives. I've got marriages that are complete shams and spouses who cover up this fact by filling their home with endless amounts of useless shit. These people have so much money that they can just drown their sorrows by hoarding objects instead of dealing with their actual issues. Their animals tend to be extremely stand offish or extremely needy, and they're always horribly untrained. And this is usually because they buy animals just cause they can. There's a void and they fill it with an animal that I then take care of for them.
My lower class clients tend to be genuinely happy. Their houses are usually kind of falling apart and their cars are decades old, but they've got cute notes around to house to their children or spouses and the layout of their living / bed room is intimate and cozy. Their animals are decently trained and friendly most of the time. And this is usually because they devote time and energy into training and loving it rather than locking it in the backyard with a bowl of water from 9-5.
The point I'm making is mostly about the rich people. They don't know that I know how secretly unhappy they are. They don't know that I know that their marriage is failing, their children don't want to come by to see them anymore, and their trips to moms house are more of a call for help than a vacation. Obviously I'm not saying that rich people can't be happy, but my petsitting experiences have led me to make many, many conclusions about how people with money are generally less capable of actually fixing the problems in their lives and tend to just bury them instead.
#32That the maid’s husband is living in the bomb shelter in the basement that the owners do not know exist.
If you know, you know.
#33That the wife is pregnant again. I've been there through 3 pregnancies now and can always tell. Mostly because she's a hairy Italian. Her hair quits falling out as much when she gets knocked up. She's definitely knocked up right now haha. I'm just waiting for them to tell me. They usually wait til around 15 weeks.
#34That their teenage daughter was bulimic. Clean the outsides of your toilets after you throw up, y'all.
Yes, I had a talk with her parents.
#35I'm a housekeeper at a nursing home. The HR rep and the QA manager had an affair, and I knew about it because they had sex toys delivered to the office. Discreet packaging means fuck-all when you leave the receipt in the box that I have to break down to throw away.
#36That their closet has a secret panic room in it that is actually a dungeon
#37The little old man im house sitting for due to a stroke had has a hobby of taking nude photos of women. There’s a stack of them under his bed that i found while trying to coax his cat out. His ex wife (who was the one who hired me) had no idea why there was a futon in his living room with multiple light fixtures pointing to it. The entire setup reminds me of the casting couch in porn (if that couch was a futon.)
#38Sad thing I found. Daughter had been hiding stuff in her room. She had a tall dresser and had a pile of panties covered in menses almost as tall as the four foot dresser. She also had bags of bread, bagels, pretzels.
The bread thing I found out was because mom was a type 1 diabetic and didn’t allow any bread products in the house - and was extremely strict on the family diet. Daughter spent her allowance on bread at the corner store. I’m not sure what was going on with the panties. I was unsure of what it meant as far as abuse or anything. There were feminine hygiene products everywhere so I’m sure they knew she was menstruating. I wanted to report it to child services, but my boss wouldn’t let me because she was friends of the family.
I still think about the girl. I worry about her. I saw more red flags and hate myself so much for not reporting.
#39After I moved out my mom got a house keeper who cleaned once a month. She was a cool lady, I met her a few times. When I (f) was in college visiting home once I brought my toy and hid it under my pillow. When I got home the evening after the housekeeper cleaned I couldn't find my toy. Eventually I found it as the centerpiece in a beautifully folded towel and soap arrangement in the guest bathroom (my bathroom). Looking back on it, that's pretty ballsy. But she was just a saucy older lady I guess.
#40Another dog walker/pet sitter here. Thanks to the calendar you left out, I know what days you are most fertile and how many times you had sex with your husband this month. Good luck!
#41I used to do apartment maintenance. I knew more about the residents than they knew.
If a woman in her late 30s slept on a twin size bed that was tucked into the corner of her bedroom I knew she was VERY single.
If someone had crosses on every wall in their apartment, Kirk Cameron movies on DVD, and a bible in both the living room and bedroom I knew that no matter how hot she was, I should keep as much distance as possible.
I knew who was lbgt
I knew who was earning extra money running an unlicensed massage studio.
I knew who was vegan (she put in a work order to replace her ice maker, the contents in her freezer gave it away).
I knew who smoked in their apartment (even though it was against the lease)
Now I did not go snooping. But I did have to investigate a couple of times. Once was a guy who kept saying that his dishwasher was leaking when it ran. I could not get it to leak. So I had to look under his sink to see what dishwashing soap he was using. I then had to explain to him that he was using Tide Laundry pods and that those are meant for the laundry not the dishwasher.
I knew who had dogs and cats just by looking at the miniblinds.
#42I was a nanny for a big family in the states. When I moved in I realized the mom was living upstairs and the dad was living in the basement. One day she brought a "friend" and it was so obvious something was going on between them, in the meantime her husband was away with the kids, so I just went out to avoid the drama. A few weeks after that her 1sr husband and 2nd husband were drinking in the kitchen late at night. They didn't see me in the living room and started talking about what was happening... She had asked him for a divorce because she was ready to be a lesbian, after 2 fail marriages and 4 kids she just wanted to be out of the closet for good. It was all a big secret until one weekend I came home to grab some clothes and I found her and her girlfriend having sex in the living room. So awkward!! She end up telling me everything and apologizing for the show lol Somehow we all end up living in the same house, the 4 kids, the mom and her girlfriend, the dad and me.
#43I was cat sitting my neighbors cat for a suprizing amount of money. I also had to pick up their mail. One day I came to the door and there was a sign on the handle that said on the front of it that the sex offender of this residence must contact his parole officer at once. I was a minor at the time and freaked the fuck out. I looked into it and he used position of power over a child
#44There's a secret basement in the house behind a shelf in the kitchen, the previous owner did it.
#45I'm not a housekeeper but my late aunt used to be. One of her clients, who was fairly well-to-do, had a whole closet full of genital themed toys. And when I say "toys," I'm not using a euphemism for "s*x enhancement items" or anything like that. Literal genital toys. Windup [members] with googly eyes on them, PEZ dispensers shaped like the most browsed pages of a skin mag (I suspect these weren't official PEZ brand), rather risque variants on "pin the tail on the donkey", a Nerf-like gun that fired foam phalluses...
Image credits: Times_Hunger
#46Was a housekeeper for a family for 9 years... I knew that the husbands hair on top of his head wasn't actually real. Well maybe it was real, but it wasn't attached.
Image credits: frickinfrackfurt
#47When you cheat on your all-organic keto diet.
#48Dog walker, here. I was dog sitting for an older work friend once and saw her "days sober" calendar. I was simultaneously sad, because I had no idea she was struggling, and happy for her because she had almost a full month marked off.
#49House I used to work at had a secret passage from the master bed to the attic, also a secret passage from a cabinet in the great room leading to the exterior of the garage.
#50My friend who cleans houses said she once had a girl who left dirty pads all over her room. She refused to clean it.
#51A whooooole lot. My favorite story is this old couple. Mid-70s, inseparable, and couldn't be sweeter if they were covered in sugar. The lady would always leave me a cooked lunch for when I came over, and explicit instructions written on the top of the cling wrap for how long to microwave it. Their house was just a few steps down from a mansion. Five bedrooms, four bathrooms. It usually took a good three hours just to finish all the vacuuming and dusting. One day they had a room closed and locked that had always been open before. Their treadmills and old people dumbbells were in there. No note or anything on the door about leaving it alone, and since I had a universal key, I didn't give it a second thought and went in. Didn't find anything unusual apart from a large-ish box on the treadmill. Picked it up to dust off, and the bottom gives way. Out fall about ten different sex toys. A purple dildo that must have been a foot-and-a-half long, clearly used nipple clamps, and a fleshlight with "ARNOLD" sharpied on it were among the things I had to very carefully put back in the box to place it elsewhere. Dusted the room and vacuumed it, trying the whole time to erase the contents of that box from my memory. I finish that up, and feeling a bit peckish, decide to take that time to go eat lunch. Two chicken breasts with a side of celery greeted me in the dining room. The cling wrap had two notes on it, the first of which read "microwave for 1:30 on HIGH, sauces in fridge." The second, which was clearly written very hastily by the husband, read "You should have put a serious tag on this question."
#52One of my most "vanilla" customers doesn't know I know about her bondage fetish. She seems like she would be a kindergarten teacher, it caught me off guard when I seen her ropes/cuffs.
#53Haven't been a housekeeper in years but we can always tell when your marriage is falling apart. The amount of "giving up" is clear.
#54That many of them are setting their kids up to fail in life.
#55I wasn't exactly a housekeeper but I was cleaning up files at a job that I quit a few years ago. Within a week, I found out that the owner never paid any of her bills and used goverment funds (that was supposed to go to the adult care center she ran) to buy herself expensive cars and houses that she shouldn't have been buying in the first place.
Update: I hope I used the correct site but I reported them using the HHS site. I forgot a lot about the company and I hope that their name and the city and state will be enough.
#56Housekeeper’s daughter here.
Ive known my whole life that my mom has always preferred her employer’s daughter over me and that I would never measure up or be good enough. It is what it is.
#57A bit of an innocent one but while I was cleaning I saw this cabinet that was very large. Like someone could fit a body in there. So, being curious, I opened it and saw A WHOLE ROOM. It was crazy! Inside there was a bed and lights attached to these tall wood pieces. Then a mini bookshelf with some books and a desk and computer. It was absolutely amazing.
#58I always wondered why the bed in the guest bedroom was sometimes slept in (I thought maybe the dad slept there during arguments) as the toddler mentioned his daddy slept there sometines....then I found out that since the couple I housekeep for are Jewish, the dad sleeps in the guest room for 7 days while the mom is menstruating AND another 7 days after for the woman to "cleanse herself of impurity", so a total of 2 weeks. Their sex life must suck balls. I also think Jewish men can't masturbate - so poor dad. Maybe that's why he's kinda grouchy & doesnt speak or say "good morning/bye" to me when I leave or arrive. I'm sure having a 27 year old attractive & fit woman around cleaning makes 37 year old - sex deprived dad think of naughty things.
#59My aunt is currently a house keeper. The had this one client who would throw used feminine hygiene products under the bed; pads specifically. No matter how I think about this I just cant imagine how someone can get to that level of grossness. If you've ever had a heavy menstrual cycle and wore a pad, you know sometimes not everything is absorbed into the pad. You need to immediately sit down in the toilet or it can quite literally go everywhere.
#60My cleaning guy caught me leaving the house once. Said he knew I smoked pot because he’d find stuff for it a lot and asked if he could find me some for a camping trip with his wife.
I freaked a little after he just said “I know you do marijuana”. I was like am I catching a lecture.