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Clean up your relationship in Readingby Crista Sanderson, Mar 2018
Ask Google what are the top reasons for couples to argue. For that matter, ask your friends. Or your partner, if you have one (and you’re feeling brave). Time after time, you’ll hear the same thing.
“He’s a slob.”
“I do all the cleaning. It’s not fair.”
“She’s a control freak. What’s wrong with dropping my clothes in the middle of the bedroom floor anyway?”
The great cleaning war
If there ever was a time when the rules for who did what in the household were clear cut, that time is over now. It’s more and more common for both partners to hold down jobs. Meanwhile the number of stay-at-home mothers has fallen consistently since records began. Granted there has been an increase in stay-at-home dads during that time. But overall, it’s increasingly rare for one or other partner to take this role.
At the same time, the ways we live together have changed dramatically. First there’s ‘generation rent’: as house prices increase beyond reach, many of us live for longer in shared houses than we did twenty years ago. Then there’s the steady increase in same-sex couples setting up homes together. Add in the growing number of couples who have chosen not to have children and it’s clear that the great British household is far from the old stereotype of housewife-husband-2.5 children!
So why do we fight about cleaning?
Let’s face it, the number of us who enjoy doing housework is pretty small, isn’t it? Yes, there are those rare beings who love cleaning – we should know, because we have them in our team at Well Polished Reading. Many of our cleaners tell us they enjoy cleaning because they love the feeling of bringing order out of chaos. They relish the satisfaction of looking back at a job well done, everything shining and tidy and clean. But they are the exception (and they are paid £10 per hour, which helps!).
For most of us, we can agree that cleaning is an unwelcome chore. But where we disagree is how we tackle it. There are those of us who have a high tolerance for clutter and mess. We just don’t notice it, until it becomes so obvious that something must be done. Then we spring into action and do a deep clean. Or we don’t. On the other side of the fence, there are those of us who believe in little-and-often. Our tolerance for mess is low. We like to maintain a certain standard the whole time. Keep on top of the house, before it gets on top of us, we say.
These two great tribes face each other across a war zone that is the modern British household. Unless you are lucky enough to share your space with only members of your own tribe, you will have conflict. The question is, what do you do about it?
Live and let live and let us clean
Options are limited. You can try to train your partner or housemates. All you have to do is alter their basic personality, change habits that have been ingrained over a lifetime, and your problems are over! How hard can it be? Answers on a postcard!
Or you could leave the cleaning to someone else, like us – Well Polished Reading. Our team of brilliant cleaners will dust and clean and iron and tidy. We are cleaning specialists. It’s what we do. You come back to a clean and tidy home. And one less thing to argue about.
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