Setting Standards for the "Clean-Enough" Home

Establish a standard for household cleanliness that suits your family composition, cleaning style and personal preferences.

From: DK Books - Houseworks

  1. Cleaning

Set the Right Standard for Yourself

Making a twin bed with hospital corners.

Nothing Compares to a Well-Made Bed: Create Hospital Corners at Home

Photo By: DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - House Works, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Some families, such as those with crawling babies or immuno-compromised elders, will need to reach for a very high standard of cleaning. Others, such as a clan of healthy young adults, can live quite happily in a home with a more relaxed cleaning style. While nobody advocates ignoring cleaning to the point of health and safety problems, a realistic view of your family’s cleaning standard prevents frustration and helps get the work done faster.

Reach for family agreement on the issue of a cleaning standard. If most household members fall on the "relaxed" side of the equation, there’ll be cleaning trouble if one member pushes for higher standards.

Negotiate a common-sense compromise. Food preparation areas require a high level of sanitation, but a teen’s bedroom poses fewer health and safety concerns. Better to pick cleaning battles carefully, with an eye to general well-being, than fight it out over every speck of dust.

Clean smart by setting a realistic cleaning standard for your home. Schedule chores to keep a clean house every day.

Be realistic about where to insist on a higher cleaning standard. Children’s rooms and kitchen areas demand a higher level of clean.

Go easy. More relaxed cleaning standards are appropriate in less-used areas. Go easier on the chores in guest bedrooms or utility areas.

Houseworks © 2006, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Text copyright © 2006, 2010 Cynthia Townley Ewer

Next Up

Get Rid of Dirt and Debris: Vacuum Regularly

How Clean Is Your Home?

Where does your family fall on the cleaning spectrum? This quiz will help you assess the sweet spot of "clean-enough" for your home.


See Full Schedule

Stories We're Following

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.