Where does your family fall on the cleaning spectrum? This quiz will help you assess the sweet spot of "clean-enough" for your home.
A. Pristine, of course. I load the dishwasher as I cook, and dinner dishes are done promptly. I can’t relax if the kitchen doesn’t sparkle when I turn out the lights. Who wants to come back to a dirty kitchen in the morning?
B. I let the dinner dishes soak until next day. Who wants to ruin a good meal by spending time with their hands in hot water afterward?
C. What’s the difference? The counters are still covered with dirty dishes; I just washed the ones we needed before the meal.
A. Who needs a man when I have my high-speed vacuum cleaner? Even the cat has learned to stand still for the daily vacuuming.
B. Love-hate. I show it the carpet every week or so, or when friends are on the way over, but I do wish it would learn to lower its voice.
C. What vacuum cleaner? I’m still hoping a cleaning reality show will stop by and dig us out. Public exposure would be a small price to pay!
A. As often as I use it, of course. Who wants to park themselves on anything less than sparkling?
B. Hit or miss. A couple of times a week, more often if the fellows in the house forget to aim.
C. Only when something snarls at me when I lift the lid ... say, every few weeks?
A. Once a week or twice a week in warm weather. I love the feel of crisp, fresh linens.
B. When I remember, or the smell gets to me. Say, every couple of weeks or so?
C. Only when I have a new boyfriend, if you know what I mean. Why waste good laundry powder and water if I’m going to be too sleepy to notice?
A. Daily, of course; it’s a ritual. Some of my finest ideas come to me while I stroke the furniture with my dust cloth.
B. Once a week or so or whenever the household joker writes “Dust Me” on the dining-room table with his finger.
C. I’m a fan of the blow-it method. If I pick something up and it’s covered with dust, I blow it off. Great household hint, huh?
Congratulations! You are a Clean Extreme, and happy to be so. Your house shines, and any dust mote so unwise to assert its presence is shown the door, pronto. Just be careful that militant cleaning doesn’t come between you and other family members, who don’t necessarily share your enjoyment of the process.
Moderate Mopper, with a house that is clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be a home. Most of the time, you’re happy with the balance between time spent cleaning and the domestic results, but occasionally, you slip a bit too far toward slapdash. Try a more scheduled approach to clean less and enjoy it more.
You’re a Dirt Dodger. Too often, you’re discouraged about life on the home front. Remember this truth: If you don’t wanna, you ain’t gonna. To pull the household back from the dusty brink, focus on small changes: clearing kitchen counters once a day, setting aside an afternoon each weekend for cleaning chores.
Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer
Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited