Remote work schedules may mean it’s become harder to ignore that growing pile of dirty clothes in the closet or the stack of dirty dishes in the sink. While some people are finding even more creative ways to skip housework, others are using WFH life to keep their homes just as clean as they were the day they moved in.
But regardless of whether people work from home or commute to an office, there are chores that they just hate doing. We surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about their household cleaning habits, and the lengths they go to get certain chores done or avoid them altogether. Turns out, some people aren’t above bribing others to help with the housework.
What’s the number one most hated chore among Americans? According to respondents, it’s the cleaning and sanitizing of bathrooms. Other hated chores include washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the refrigerator, and doing yard work.
People have mastered the art of procrastination, especially for those chores they despise. More than 4 in 5 people put off doing those chores that they hate doing, perhaps opting instead to start with tasks they don’t detest.
Even if they put certain chores off, those tasks still have to get done. But it doesn’t mean people are spending a lot of time doing those chores, 21% said they spend an hour or less on chores in an average week. Meanwhile, 12% said they are putting in an average of five hours or more per week completing those household tasks.
We were curious as to who in the household is actually putting in the work to keep things clean. Nearly half of the women we surveyed say chores fall to them in almost every situation, especially if they have kids. Overall, 45% of women say they end up doing the brunt of all the chores, compared to just 24% of men. Interestingly enough, more than half of the men surveyed said they share chores with their significant other or roommate. Only 19% admitted their partner does all the work.
When kids come into the picture, 65% of women say housework falls on them. That’s way more than the 29% of men who acknowledged that their significant other takes care of most, if not all, of the chores.
The allocation of chore responsibility does cause some issues in households. Over half (54%) said they’ve experienced tension when discussing chore responsibilities with others in their household. The primary causes of that tension revolve around household members not doing the chores they’re responsible for, or not doing those chores frequently enough.
One of the most hated chores is laundry, but it’s one of those things that’s usually done at least once a week (if not more frequently). 38% of respondents said they do all loads of laundry all of the time; including laundry loads for their significant other, their roommate, or their kids. Over half of those doing all loads of laundry were women.
People can tell a lot by a person based on their home’s cleanliness, and for single people, that may make or break a date. Over half (56%) of single respondents said they’ve been ashamed of the cleanliness of their homes.
The top chores done by single people before bringing someone home include picking up clutter, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, and vacuuming.
There’s no question that remote work has made it easier to get chores done. Nearly 2 in 5 of those working from home said they take some time during the workday to do household chores, such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and preparing meals. 29% admitted to doing housework while on a work call, and almost a quarter (24%) said they spend about a half-hour of their workday doing those household chores.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also proven to impact the way we clean our homes. More than half (55%) of respondents said they’ve become more diligent in cleaning their homes since the onset of the pandemic. Most people clean more now than they used to. 66% said they deep clean their homes, and almost half (49%) said they conduct annual “spring cleaning.” The majority of people do spring cleaning at the end of March or in early April.
But spring cleaning may take a backseat to finances this year. 66% of people said they’ve noticed cleaning supplies are getting more expensive, with 46% adding they’ve looked for cheaper alternatives due to that price increase.
No matter how often people are cleaning, there’s that one product they just can’t seem to live without. For the majority of people, it’s their vacuum, followed by a multi-purpose cleaning spray and sanitizing wipes.
In February 2022, we surveyed 1,070 people to get their feedback on doing household chores and their cleaning habits. Respondents were 53% female and 44% percent male, with an age range of 18 to 79 and an average age of 37 years old. The relationship breakdown of survey respondents was 38% single, 34% married, 22% in a relationship, and 6% divorced.
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