Setting Standards for the \"Clean-Enough\" Home

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


  1. Cleaning

Set the Right Standard for Yourself

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.

A woman vacuuming a cream-colored, textured carpet.

Get Rid of Dirt and Debris: Vacuum Regularly

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

DK - House Works, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Clean Smart

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

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

Be Realistic

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

A woman dusting the surface of a table, with candle in her hand.

Anyone for Dusting?

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited View original photo.

DK - House Works, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Go Easy

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

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