Cleanliness, like so many things in life, is subjective. While some people can’t possibly relax after dinner if they have a sink full of dishes, others can let their flatware “soak” for hours on end without a second thought. Keeping your home in tiptop shape may be a top priority for you, whereas others accept that we all have a junk drawer or two. One thing we can agree on though is now that we’re spending more time at home than ever before, having clean and organized surroundings is starting to matter more. Especially when it comes time to disinfect surfaces, which isn’t easy to do with tons of clutter lying about.
Basically, spring cleaning feels pretty darn important this year. To make the process a bit more interesting, let’s look at the cleaning habits of Americans. Then we can get to hunting down those aggressive dust bunnies.
How Do Your Habits Stack Up?
There’s no shame in the overflowing laundry basket game, but it can be fun to take a peek at other people’s literal dirty laundry. Especially, when you consider 2 percent of people reported never cleaning their bed linens, like ever, according to the 2019 ACI National Cleaning Survey. Bedding isn’t the only chore getting skipped over. Twenty percent of people reported never having cleaned their washing machine, 41 percent don’t even remember the last time they gave their refrigerator a good scrub, and overall 31 percent admitted to not cleaning areas of their home that they know they should. When it comes to spring cleaning in particular, Americans like to give their windows, closets/dressers, and ceiling fans the most love.
Clutter seems to be an issue many of us have in common. According to the OfferUp 2019 Spring Cleaning Report, 62 percent of people have a closet full of items that don’t get frequent use, and 41 percent have a similar set up in their garage. Clearly the clutter weighs on us, because 37 percent of Americans intended to spend at least a full day decluttering in the spring of 2019. What rooms are the most worthy of a decluttering session? According to the survey responses, the bedroom is in first place, followed by the closet, living room, and garage. Once a space is free of clutter and ready to enjoy, the bulk of respondents said they would like to use a clutter-free space in their home for an office, which feels particularly helpful right now.
It’s understandable if certain chores slip through the cracks. Depending on the size of your home and if you have a family, it can take a lot of effort to maintain your ideal cleanliness standards. Another survey from ACI found that 28 percent of people spend seven hours a week cleaning their homes, with 74 percent of people focusing on light cleaning tasks most frequently. Primarily, they reported prioritizing cleaning toilets, floors, and appliances, with over half of participants dreading cleaning the bathroom the most. While 34 percent of those surveyed are concerned they don’t clean enough, about a third wonder if they are even going about cleaning properly.
Do You Feel The Same?
Why do we clean? In short, we clean because we have to, but also because we want to. Of course, sometimes it can take an extra push to pick up your mop and get to work. That push often comes in the form of visitors or a move. Forty-three percent of Americans declutter before a visitor comes over and 40 percent do so when moving
Another major motivator for keeping our homes squeaky clean is simply because it feels good. For 70 percent of Americans, a feeling of accomplishment comes after tidying their homes, and 61 percent feel de-stressed afterwards. Other positive feelings associated with a good cleaning session are relaxation, productivity, and confidence. It seems like we need to have a good spring cleaning session each season, as 36 percent of people reported feeling extremely accomplished afterwards. Anyone who’s watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo knows how good getting rid of clutter can feel. After the show aired, thrift stores saw a massive rise in donations. Thrift stores also saw a rise in donations during the coronavirus pandemic, which gave many people extra time at home to get their spring cleaning done.
Are You Keeping the Peace?
Getting your home in order has many benefits. You can always find your keys, you’ll be ready for friends to stop by with no warning, and you’ll likely feel happier in your home. It turns out, your relationships can improve as well if you keep things neat and tidy, especially if you’re cohabiting with someone. Around a third of people feel that their roommate or partner’s tidiness is important to them.
Getting on the same page with whomever you live with about cleanliness standards is likely a good idea, as many people don’t like arguing about these issues. So much so, that 32 percent would rather wait in line at the DMV and 25 percent would choose to spend time with their in-laws before fighting about decluttering. And if you like having houseguests, then you might want to be extra vigilant about clutter, as 28 percent of visitors don’t want to return to a very cluttered house.
How do you think your cleaning habits compare to the average American’s? Is Monica Geller your cleaning spirit animal or your worst nightmare?
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