Do Your Cleaning Styles Clash?

How do the cleaning styles of you and your partner match-up?  Here are some ways to reconcile differing cleaning styles.

February is the month of love, but just because you love your partner doesn’t mean you are both on the same page when it comes to cleaning.  Do you and your partner’s cleaning styles clash?  Don’t let a dirty floor or a forgotten trash day derail your relationship. 

First, understand the source of the disconnect.

How you were raised will impact how you navigate household chores with your significant other.  Families have different standards of cleanliness, expectations for how each member will contribute to household chores and varying areas of responsibility for each family member.

Differing personality types may also contribute to discord when it comes to cleaning the house.  If opposites attract, a Type A cleaner and a more laid back cleaner may pair up.  Your partner may be operating under a different set of expectations than the ones you have for yourself.  Understanding the differences in how you were raised or personality types may not solve all cleaning conundrums, but it can lead to a greater comprehension of the source of the conflict.

Define “clean”.

The term “clean” may have different meanings to each respective part of a pair.  She may define a clean kitchen as no dirty dishes left in the sink, while he may define a clean kitchen as wiped down counters and a scrubbed out sink with no offending food bits left near the drain. This miscommunication of the definition of the word “clean” can lead to stress between the couple, because the person with a more stringent definition of clean may find that he is always re-cleaning behind the other one.  The person who has a less strict definition of clean may feel that all her cleaning efforts are subverted. She may eventually feel that it is pointless to try since her level of clean is never “good enough”.  When it comes to some of the daily tasks, it may help to agree upon what your mutual level of clean will be for each room or task.  There may be room for each partner to give a little in the compromise.  One doing more and one expecting less. 

Clean now, clean later.

Let’s say you like to clean as you go. By the time you have finished cooking dinner, you aren’t facing a mountain of dishes.  Your significant other prefers to wait to clean until after the meal. Why put away a measuring cup or spatula when you may need it later?  He thinks dinner is more enjoyable when you aren’t in a rush to clean.  Sound familiar?  After a busy day of work, one partner may be ready to decompress for a few minutes; meanwhile, the trail of discarded shoes and socks leading to the couch stresses the other partner out.  Communication is once again the key to resolving this cleaning conflict. 

One person may prefer to wait until Saturday to complete all the chores, and the other needs the house to be organized house to relax. Divvy up the chores.  The organizer can be responsible for daily tasks throughout the week, while the weekend cleaner can tackle a few larger chores on Saturday.  One person can cook dinner and the other person can clean.  We all have different strengths, weaknesses, preferences and needs.  Together you can create a cleaning schedule that works for both of you.

Cleaning is still a struggle.

A promotion at work, a new addition to the family, a particularly busy time of year; sometimes you both may be just too busy to tackle all the cleaning that needs to get done.  It might be time to outsource your cleaning efforts if:

  • You find that cleaning is still a major source of conflict
  • You can’t resolve your different cleaning styles
  • You are experiencing a particularly busy season of life.

If spending some money on a cleaning service will give you both a little more peace in your daily lives, it’s worth it.You may not need to outsource all your chores or have a cleaning service come as often as you think.Decide on the tasks that neither of you wants to handle and let us help.  You can book an appointment with us here!

Happy cleaning to couples in this month and all year-long.