Americans Like This Chore the Most—and It's Not What You Think It Is
When it comes to tackling (and hopefully splitting) house chores and working through a cleaning checklist, most people will have a favorite chore, or at least one they can tolerate, and a chore that they would happily give up. Calling a chore popular feels like a stretch, but some chores (vacuuming!) certainly beat others (mopping) in terms of the amount of time and labor required to get them done. A new survey asked people about their chore preferences, and one task did come out on top—though it’s a surprising winner.
Asked about their favorite type of cleaning in a survey on behalf of Clorox, 37 percent of people say doing the laundry is their preferred chore. The survey results—named “The Dirt on Spring Cleaning: American’s Top Cleaning Confessions”—included responses of 1,234 people, the majority of whom somehow view laundry as the least-terrible chore. Other preferred chores include cleaning the kitchen (chosen by 32 percent of respondents) and vacuuming. The least-favorite chore is organizing and dusting bedrooms, which is liked by only 11 percent of people.
Choosing a favorite chore can be tricky—are any truly enjoyable, except to the neatest of neat freaks?—but laundry seems an unexpected winner to this self-described neat freak. No cleaning task is ever truly finished, with the law of entropy and the accumulated dirt of living constantly re-dirtying cleaned items and spaces, but some chores stay finished for longer than laundry does. Taking out the trash, for example, is a one-and-done task, at least for a few hours; laundry is quite literally never finished, unless the launderer is able to complete the chore in the nude. Plus, there’s the whole process of learning how to do laundry and how to read laundry symbols. Laundry has a rather steep learning curve, while nearly anyone can take out the trash with little to no training.
Clorox’s new survey shared a slew of other juicy cleaning facts: Most people are either Clean Freaks or Scramblers when it comes to tidying up, though Emotional Cleaners are also pretty common. 31 percent of people admit to never or not-often deep-cleaning their homes—and I might be editorializing, but they probably don’t plan on learning how to clean a shower head, either. 27 percent of people admit that their microwave is splattered with unknown food; a whopping 78 percent admit to hiding clutter or messes, mostly in a bedroom or closet, when cleaning in a rush. (I call that the Monica Technique.)
The survey reveals that 93 percent of people in the U.S. are bothered by mess and dirt: Almost no one likes living in a cluttered or dirty home. But how everyone tackles that mess can reveal a lot about different personalities and preferences—and maybe the key to a harmonious household is finding someone who will tackle the chores you like the least, and vice versa. Who knew cleaning could be so romantic?