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Chapter 13. Dirty Dishes and Other House... > Home Squalid Home - Pg. 138

Dirty Dishes and Other Household Chores 138 · Use supplies that do most of the work. As you select those few basic cleansers to have on hand, look for ones that let you be a little lazy. For example, you can spritz certain cleansers on the tile after showering, and grime and mildew magically disappear without scrubbing. · Chip away. If you wait for a big block of time to clean, you'll start to dread all the chores that face you and will be more likely to put it off. Instead, try to clean little by little. If you're cooking, for example, and find that you're waiting for water to boil before you can do anything else, why not grab a hand-vacuum and suck up the crumbs that have accumulated around the toaster or bread box? Or you could wipe off a shelf in the refrigerator. · Combine cleaning with something fun. Put on some favorite music or let yourself watch some- thing totally useless but amusing on television. Do anything that will make cleaning less of a chore. Matter of Fact When did you last dust the tops of tall bookcases, clean out the gutters, and disinfect your trash cans? Don't remember? Then you probably need to make lists of cleaning chores you should be doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis, and schedule those chores into your planner and calendar. The lists can also help you see which chores should be part of your regular routine and which could be delegated to a cleaning service you bring in periodically. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life has a great set of lists, as do books by cleaning guru Don Aslett, including The Cleaning Encyclopedia . No matter which tricks and techniques work for you, one of the most important strategies is not to stress out over keeping your home perfectly clean. Do what is necessary to make it a comfortable, safe environment (germs are no laughing matter, so I'm not saying don't clean at all), but don't set impossibly high standards that make your life miserable. Finally, don't let cleaning get in the way of your relationships at home. A 1999 na-tional study by the Soap and Detergent Association ( and Opinion Research Corporation looked at ways household cleaning causes friction among married and living-as-married couples. Here's what they found: · Of all couples who make a home together, 46 percent argue about cleaning. · Women claim to do 79 percent of the cleaning in their households. Men admit to doing only 35 percent of the cleaning. · Of couples with children in the household, 55 percent argue over cleaning; only 38 percent of households with no children fight about it. · Of couples 55 and older, 34 percent argue about cleaning; 59 percent of couples aged 18 to 24 years old argue about it. The study also asked about men's and women's common cleaning complaints: Complaint Doesn't clean enough Doesn't clean the bathroom enough Doesn't clean up after using the kitchen Vacuums or dusts around items instead of moving them Men say about women 41% 16% 24% 41% Women say about men 56% 50% 47% 41%