What Your Love Language Says About How You Clean
Whether you love cleaning or hate it, your love language can reveal a lot about your cleaning habits around the house.
In the years since its initial launch, Gary Chapman’s concept of the five love languages has developed its own cult following. Understanding your love language is, to believers, the secret to connecting to others in satisfying ways. If you’re in a relationship, understanding your partner’s love language can help bring you closer; if you’re single, it can help you relate to friends and family members or find a love that will last. (Check out these relationship apps if you’re seeking that sort of love.)
The five love languages—Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Words of Affirmation—describe how you best communicate love and how you most appreciate love being communicated to you, but they can also say a lot about how you interact or behave in other areas of your life. (If you don’t know your primary love language, you can take the original quiz here or buy the book that started it all.)
Unlike the Enneagram test or MBTI test, the love language quiz isn’t quite a personality test, so take these light-hearted interpretations of how the five love languages can apply to cleaning and home maintenance with a grain of salt. People can have multiple love languages, too—Chapman has always said it’s not uncommon to have two high-scoring languages on the quiz results—so you may exhibit cleaning tendencies of different love languages, or none at all.
The five love languages are all about how people connect with each other, so many of the affiliated cleaning habits revolve around sharing a space with a roommate, partner, or family member. If you live alone, they may apply to how you take care of yourself in your solo space. Consider this your unauthorized guide to love language cleaning habits, and read on to find out how your cleaning techniques and strategies may be determined by your primary love language.
People who express love for others by completing tasks for them will easily project that love language onto cleaning. They’ll take pride in cleaning up after a beloved roommate, child, or partner, whether that means washing the dishes after a long day or running an extra load of laundry to make sure those lucky socks are clean. If you live with Acts of Service people, they will be especially touched if you handle post-dinner cleanup or take care of their chores for the week.
If you live alone, your Acts of Service leanings may express themselves in ways that set you up for low-stress success later. You may always clean up the dinner dishes that night, so the morning is dish-free, or be sure to have your work bag packed and by the door before you go to bed every night for a less scattered morning. Acts of Service people always have clean sheets and towels ready to go, in case a cozy curl-up is called for.
Physical Touch people are, unsurprisingly, touchy. When it comes to cleaning, they don’t shy away from a little physical effort and take pride in scrubbing at some stubborn grit. Physical Touch cleaners might prefer the more heavy-duty cleaning tasks, such as scrubbing the shower tiles, mopping the floors, or vacuuming. They like cleaning tasks that have visibly cleaner results and make the home look, feel, and smell fresher but put off less noticeable cleaning improvements (think sanitizing clean-looking surfaces, wiping down light switches after someone has been sick, etc.).
People who identify Quality Time as their love language do their best to turn cleaning into a group activity, involving roommates, partners, and other household members in the work as much as possible. They encourage group clean-ups and enjoy turning the chores into a bonding activity. (Cleaning hair out of the drain is much more fun with a buddy, right?)
When Quality Time people live alone, they still try to make cleaning fun by cranking the music, turning it into a dance party, or otherwise enlivening the process.
People in this category prioritize the thoughtfulness and effort that can go into gift-giving—and they likely appreciate material items for the ease and satisfaction they can bring to life, no matter their cost. Receiving Gifts types may be more likely to invest in high-quality cleaning tools that can take care of common cleaning chores, such as robot vacuums and mops. They also might gift themselves the luxury of hiring a cleaning service, especially if cleaning introduces stress to their life.
Words of Affirmation speakers find a lot of meaning in verbal compliments and thrive on receiving kind, encouraging words. They tend to look externally for validation. When it comes to cleaning, this means they may not care too much about a messy home when it’s just them and any housemates, but when guests are due to arrive, they’ll go into a cleaning frenzy to get the place in shape for a praiseful “The place looks great!” compliment.