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Setting Standards for the "Clean-Enough" Home

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

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

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.

Clean Smart

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

Vacuuming Carpet Protects Fibers and BackingHouseworks ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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.

Fold Sheet Corner at 45 Degree AngleHouseworks ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Go Easy

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

Dust Under Knick Knacks with White ClothHouseworks ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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