I had a similar convo w/ my housekeeper, and I flat-out said,
"Do not ever, ever wash my dishes. I can and will do that, so I don't want to pay you to do it. You are not here to do my laundry or to make my bed. Those are all things that I can and will do, even if I haven't done them by the time you are in my house. So I do not want to pay for you to do them.
"But I do not want to vacuum, ever--so I have hired you to do that. I do not want to dust, that's something I want to pay someone else to do--you. I do not want to clean the bathroom--do that. I don't want to mop the kitchen floor. So if you pass up these things to do the stuff I don't care about, then I am not getting what I'm paying for.
"Do not pick stuff up to try to put it away--if stuff is accidentally out and in your way, you do not have to clean around it. I do not expect you to. If your internal sense of "a job well done" means you have to, do not put it away--just slide it over, or pick it up, dust under it, and put it down.
"If there is too much stuff, don't clean [the table/dresser/that corner of the LR] at all."
I'm pretty adamant about what it is I want from my cleaner, and realized at our conversation that I had to specifically say, "Do not do this in my house--I am not willing to sacrifice the other cleaning for its' sake." Because she does those things in other peoples' houses.
I would fire her if she insisted on folding my clothes--that's wasting my money (by wasting her time). I don't like her to tidy anything, actually. She stacks and straightens everything that's on the dining-room table, and frankly I would prefer she not even touch that table. There's nothing related to its care that is not something I do regularly anyway (wash the vinyl tablecloth, etc.).
Everyone has different ideas about what they want their cleaning lady to do--it's never safe to -not- be specific. And "what she does" is not something I recognize as an absolute that *she* determines.
She -does- determine "what she does not do"; if she doesn't want to wash windows, or clean the inside of the fridge, she should say, and I'll decide if that means I'd rather hire someone else.
But she doesn't come in my house and say, "I always wash the dishes." She works for me. I make the list. And I'm not all that interested in what she does for other people. I'll tell her what I need, and she can decide if it's a workload she can handle, or if they are tasks she thinks are appropriate for her to do.
It's always worked out really well--I'm pretty clear in my explanation, and I give my reasons respectfully but firmly. None of the folks I've hired to clean have ever had a problem with me saying, "Leave the dishes in dishwasher alone" or "Just ignore my dressertop." And they've been interested in giving me what I need, so they often ask (though I find that they are more willing to assume a standard list than I would ever be--either as the householder or if I were a cleaning lady.)