Not Your Average House Frau

I’m not your typical house frau.  I learned this after browsing a Canadian census on line.    For one thing … I was actually reading the census.  On a Friday night.  For fun.  Yup.  I feel quite confident at this point that I can advise anyone who is considering this as a form of evening entertainment to eat a wool sweater instead. It would be more fun.  So yeah, I’m not typical.

But I was bored and avoiding housework. That’s something that everyone does at some point, right?  Housework I mean, not avoiding it.

Well, according to the census … not so.  Of the approximately (I’m being approximate … not the number loving , abacus polishing folks in the Census department) 9 million Ontarians that are “eligible” to do housework, almost 1 million of them don’t.  As in, they checked the “I do zero hours of housework in a week” box.

MY LATEST VIDEOS

What about Spring Cleaning?  They don’t even Spring Clean?  (THIS is PRIME spring cleaning season by the way and here are 3 Quick Spring Cleaning tasks you can accomplish in UNDER an hour.)

I can understand people are busy with working and kids and Netflix and everything, but not devoting at least 3 minutes a week to cleaning a toilet?  Not that I run around with a feather duster in my holster all day long, but I do find it necessary to do the odd thing around the house to keep my life running smoothly.  Like washing my unmentionables.  Or perhaps throwing out that 7 year old miniature bottle of Heinz ketchup I thought I  might need for a French fry emergency one day but didn’t.

My job as a blogger allows me to work at home.  This accomplishes two things.  I’m always here to make a mess and I’m always here to clean it up.  I prefer the making of messes mind you. On occasion I will do neither and actually venture out of the house, most often to go to the Dollar Store.

I LOVE the Dollar Store.  For one thing every single thing in there is a dollar(ish).  They used to only take cash which made overspending difficult but now that they take debit cards it’s a bit of a free for all. It makes absolutely NO sense to leave The Dollar Store without $50 worth of off brand scented candles.  None.   I’m getting a bit off track.  The discussion of grossly underpriced toilet brushes and stackable boxes does that to me. We were talking about housework.

I figure I do about 7 – 10 hours of housework a week. Which is a total guess based mainly on cleaning the kitchen and scowling at the litter box.  Is that excessive? 7 hours? The census made me think so.  It implied I was freakish even.  A veritable cleaning machine at 7 hours a week.

I called a stay-at-home mom friend to ask her how many hours a week she thinks she spends doing housework.  In between the roar of the vacuum and the screams of her children she said “Oh … I’m not sure …  OH MY GOD THE DOG’S PEEING ON THE COUCH AGAIN!!”.  Then she had to go.  So no help there.

Like everyone, (except those curious one million who don’t do ANY housework) I have my favourite household chores.  Who doesn’t like those vacuum marks on the carpet?  The only thing better than a vacuum mark on a carpet is a vacuum mark on a couch.  I’ve convinced myself as long as I have at least one of those vacuuming marks on the couch in conjunction with a clean kitchen sink, I can actually fool everyone into thinking my whole house is clean.    So my kitchen sink is always clean.  Usually.

I have a relative who actually runs her hand over the couch so it *looks* like a vacuum mark to keep herself happy.

Emptying the dishwasher?  That is a chore I hate.  HATE.  I couldn’t dread it more if the dishwasher were filled with somersaulting centipedes as opposed to clean dishes.  In fact, I’d prefer it because at least that would make a really good Instastory that I could get some mileage out of.

I also really love having freshly washed sheets and freshly washed pajamas.  All white if possible.  I don’t love washing my sheets and duvet cover but the end justifies the means, so that’s a household chore I can get behind.  Ironically I did find a centipede on my bed a while ago and did indeed Instagram it.

 

It wasn’t as fun as you might believe and I’m actually rethinking that whole dishwasher filled with centipedes scenario.

So, I’m not your average house frau.  I’m not sure I’ve ever met one.  What I am sure of is there are approximately one million of them out there I will consciously be trying to avoid.  Ick.

So lay it on me.  How many hours do you think you spend doing housework?  Is it … zero?  And most importantly … how much do you love vacuum marks.

 

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133 Comments

  1. Kate says:

    I probably spend 7-15 hours a week on household chores. But-I’m a stay-at-home mom, so that’s kind of my job! (My other “job” is crocheting toys for my Etsy shop.) So I’m home a lot. It takes me all week to get those hours in. I’m a great procrastinator!

  2. Madeline says:

    Once a month a very effective team (with 3 to 6 members) of cleaners rush into my house at 2pm on a Wednesday, cleaning it from one end to the other. They are really cute, and I enjoy listening to them chatter while I play mahjong on my computer. For the rest of the month, I do this and that, but not consistently. Dishes, laundry, the occasional ineffectual attempt at the KonMarie method. So, I guess I’m on the lower end of the hausfrau scale. I too hate emptying the dishwasher, but dang it, it must be emptied to fill it again, otherwise the kitchen starts to look like a hoarders scenario. My hubs likes to cook sometimes and usually leaves a mess for me to clean up, but I consider it a fair exchange as I lost interest in cooking somewhere near Topeka. In any case, I no longer fear germs, except for the flu virus. So I wash my hands often, and the appliances seldom. Needless to say, my house is not blog-worthy. I don’t care.

  3. MrsChrisSA says:

    I have a helper who comes in twice a week mainly to do the ironing and the more hectic cleaning (I work and am away from home about 12 hours a day).

    Saturday mornings (most, not all) I will generally spend doing the cleaning and tidying that helpers miss.

    So probably 3-4 hours a week.

    No wonder my house never feels tidy or clean as a whistle!!!

    Given me food for thought here!

  4. Robert says:

    Since I have to hand wash and don’t own a dishwasher I’ll say I’m a little under 6 hours depending on the week and the season and solely based on those two tasks and preferably done in the middle of the night on weekends

  5. TucsonPatty says:

    I absolutely plead the fifth! (Sometimes I spend 25 hours doing chores in one long day, and sometimes not. There is no in-between.) That centipede (and pretty much all creepy crawlies) grosses me out, also!

  6. Nicole says:

    I wonder if those 1 million all have spouses who do the housework? Or trained monkeys? I have a cleaning lady who comes once a month and pushes the giant reset button on my house, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t run the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher, refill the dishwasher, do the laundry, take out the trash and recyclables, wonder how the cat can produce SO MUCH POOP from such a little body, pick up after the teen, wipe the toothpaste out of the sink, get the hair out of the shower drain, clean up cat barf, etc. You know, the normal stuff.

    Who are these people and how are they getting away with not doing any housework!? (And how do I become one of them?… unless they live in squalor, in which case, I’ll take a rain cheque.)

    • Jenny W says:

      “They” are Men 😉

      • Barb says:

        That was MY first thought…

      • Kea says:

        I dunno, my “man” probably does twice as much housework than me. He does all the things I hate while i do the things he hates (i get the gross and lame jobs, but he does more frequent things like sweeping and dishwasher unloading)
        I think the younger generation of men has realized that there’s no such thing as “womans” work and that if he wants clean dishes, well, he better unload that dishwasher or i’m going to stack my dirty plates all over the kitchen

        • Jenny R says:

          I have to admit, my first thought was that men make up the majority of that 1 million even though my husband does at least half of the housework in our home. I tend to do the bulk of the laundry (how can one small baby poop out his diaper SO much?!), dusting, and daily tidying; dishes and cooking are pretty evenly split, but my husband is definitely the one who sweeps/vacuums and wages his ongoing war against grout that will never be white enough (to him. I think it looks fine).
          I suppose I do at least 60-90 minutes a day between dishes, laundry, and light picking up, while my husband tends to do marathon cleaning sessions on one or two days a week.

      • Kris Wilson says:

        LOL. You’re probably right!

  7. kddomingue says:

    Let’s see….there’s the cooking which requires cleaning the kitchen
    (cause I’m NOT one of the one million….ick!) and the there’s the cleaning of dirty bodies (live bodies not dead bodies….I don’t do dead bodies) and that entails the cleaning of the bathroom to get rid of the dirty body ickiness left behind and then there’s the washing of the clothing worn by the dirty bodies and the washing of the things used to clean the dirty bodies and the dirty kitchen and the dirty bathroom and the drying, hanging, folding and putting away of clothing and cleaning things and then there’s the sweeping and mopping and the ritual biweekly changing of the king sized bed linens and washing, drying, folding and wrestling fitted bottom sheet into submission and storing that sheet set and the daily picking up and putting away of random things and did I mention sweeping up after the yellow lab who is trying to carpet the entire house for me with her fur (bless her thoughtful little heart!) and…..well, the husband, the dog, the cat, the grandchild, the multiple projects simultaneously going on with daughter, son, son-in-law, grandchild and assorted friends keep the house from looking…..ummmm…..
    unlived in? Soooo…..as hell! I don’t know. A lot of hours? I need a maid. Lol!

  8. Family of 3 (and 2 cats), about 7-10 hours a week. Laundry and dishes are a big chunk. And I hate vacuum marks on carpet, so what isn’t hardwood is berber, lol.

  9. Bonnie Goodrich-Wilcoxson says:

    House? Oh, I’m supposed to clean it? Oh, dear . . .

  10. Muff Hackett says:

    OK, you got me, I’m fond of vacuum marks, but I absolutely hate the idea of vacuuming. In fact, purchasing a vacuum (something I do approximately once every 30 years so far) is my least favourite buying task. Fortunately my aged Kenmore (touch wood here) continues to behave and has not yet noticed that Sears has gone to the great department store parking lot in the sky – I did have to have it mended and I replaced the hose a few years back.

    As for how much time I spend in a week at ‘household cleaning tasks’ – between dishes, laundry, the litter box, and all the other bits and bobs it probably amounts to about 5 – 7 hours – more if I feel moved to get serious about the windows or wash all the floors at once. I had a bit of an epiphany the other day and realized that although I have occasionally been prepared to pay someone else to do my heavy work for me (floors particularly) I have never thought that I should, being as I work full time outside of the house, pay myself for those tasks – just to remind myself that they have value. Interesting to think what that time is worth to me when the job is being done ‘in house’ as it were.

  11. Donna says:

    I aspire to become one of the non cleaners but I own a pug and I have to eat so I’m afraid I spend a good 10 hours cleaning. Just the two of us so not too much to do and every couple of weeks stuff like baseboards and shit. But the pug hair has killed more vacuum cleaners than I care to remember.

  12. Carol says:

    I probaby spend at least 10 or more hours doing some sort of cleaning and doing laundry. I think I only have 2 days a week that I am not doing laundry. Could very from week to week. And with summer coming up it adds to my work load. Mowing the lawn and doing the garden.

  13. Kmarie says:

    Our family of five has big chore day every Thursday ( hubby is exempted at work but he has his laundry and house maintenance on sat along with meals ) my 3 homeschooled kids from 10-14 and I rotate the rooms and each of them have a bathroom. They have to learn and they do all chores. Big chore day involves a few hours of the afternoon; dusting each room, vacuuming, sweeping, moping, changing linens , disinfecting bathrooms and clean up. Then every day we have someone on dishes rotation and we each have a laundry day. On laundry day we rotate, fold and put away our own stuff. Household laundry like dish towels and towels get done on big chore day. Then every few months I scrub walls, wash curtains or do one of the big jobs. It sounds like a lot but it works efficiently for us now and the kids enjoy their jobs with music most of the time. My goal was to teach them how to conquer mundane everyday tasks with as much enjoyment as possible from an early age since many moments of their lives will be dedicated to these tasks. May as well have some good memories and quick knowledge right? Sometimes we dread big chore day but most of the time it’s a re set. And the weekends are great because it’s clean and company ready ( we also take 15 minutes a day for a tidy of our areas – example if I have my room and the living room I make sure they are company ready ) but we also allow for lived in bliss ( books on surfaces, toys on floor that are being used, devices playing music ect.) so I’d say we are cleaning a lot per week but that’s it’s also a part of living that can be pleasant. Sometimes it’s fun care taking our house together, belting out songs or competing ect . They each had tiny jobs to do even from very little ( picking up toys to music ) and built on that so it’s a part of them. it’s way easier now that they have all passed 8 and can do a thorough job. It’s part of schooling along with budget planning, learning how to book appointments, cooking, philosophy, and learning life skills … important but so is math 😉

    • Thandi says:

      You’re a genius. And if my husband knew a little less about math and a little more about cleaning a bathroom that wouldn’t be a bad thing 😉 So yeah, genius. Your kids are going to thank you one day!

    • Kate says:

      Well done! We have been less successful in the daily tidying up routine, but getting there. Teaching our teen to do the basics is HER least favorite part of the week, but probably more useful for later life than memorizing historical dates!

  14. Tina says:

    It’s just me, 2 dogs and 2 cats in my 1000 sq ft house. And I’m not remotely house proud! I don’t have carpets because they’re never clean enough when you have 16 paws wandering through and all my furniture is leather because it’s easier to wipe so I guess 7-10 is a fair estimate.

    But now you’ve made me think of spring cleaning. I should clean my oven. And clean the tops of the kitchen cabinets. And soon it’ll be time to change from winter clothes to summer clothes which means a quick scrub of closets while they’re empty.

    Oh! Here’s what my friend does about the tops of the cabinets and fridge. They do need cleaning and the dust up there always feels greasy. He scrubs them and, when they’re all clean and dry, he cuts waxed paper to fit and tapes it up there. Then the next time they need to be cleaned, just pull out the waxed paper and replace it!

  15. Therese says:

    Wow. I would think it is closer to 20 hours a week for me. And, I don’t have a clean house!

    O m g. We live on a farm and there is one dog. The dust/dirt that comes in is amazing. I have few carpet areas and so sweep once or twice a day. I mop floors once a week and as needed in between. Dusting is on going but our surfaces are fairly open so that is an easy job. Vacuum carpet areas/couches as I HATE the dust flying should anyone ever pat them!!

    I do a fair amount of laundry – at least 5 loads a week and more with other animals in spring/summer/fall. Not so much in the winter for them. We also have Kenmore appliances but they kind of work with big loads going in.

    There is always lots of reno work on so that interferes with cleaning. :).

    I can’t believe people wouldn’t clean! All my friends have clean houses and most clean and have a cleaning person as well!

    Then there are outside chores as well….

    I will now be more interested in keeping track of it a little more. Ha.

    TEW

  16. Kipper says:

    Probably 10 hours a week on indoor chores. 7 hours extra if you factor in the care and maintenance of the outdoor chicken coop and the hens.

  17. PMMK says:

    If cooking counts as housework (I do it in my house, after all) then, yeah, I spend 7 – 10 hours a week doing housework. Sometimes it feels like 7 – 10 hours a day but the payoff is great food.

    As for the rest of the work … We don’t have a maid. I don’t think we have a maid. Well, if we have a maid, it’s not me.

    I’m more of a conductor; constantly directing the family to clean up after themselves, put their stuff away, use the dishwasher not spot on the counter directly above the dishwasher. Blah, blah, blah! Nag, nag, nag! It drives me nuts that this is what it takes. Not perfect but it does get the place tidied up. Sort of.

    That said, no I don’t like vacuum marks but I do like how the house looks after I have gone after the dust and debris like a mad woman.

    I have always enjoyed ironing while listening to the radio but rarely do it anymore. Not since my granddaughter told me that ironing board is a bad word. A lot of my friends agree with her. Who knew?

    • SusanR says:

      In my world, cooking counts as housework. So does paying bills. I’m also of a mind that when the dishes are clean in the dishwasher, there’s no difference between them just sitting there and being taken out as needed, and putting them in a cabinet to be taken out as needed, but there are only two of us, and we use about the same dishes every day. I don’t care if there are a day’s worth of dirty dishes in the sink. It’s not very many dishes. They’re rinsed as they’re put into the sink. We DO use a small device that can be flipped between the words CLEAN and DIRTY, so we know the state of the dishes in the dishwasher, though.

  18. Jennifer says:

    It depends on the rain. California hasn’t had a lot of rain this winter, so I spend more time outside doing yard work, which everyone knows is MUCH more fun than housework. It rained Monday, though, so my kitchen and bathroom are clean, and there are lovely vacuum marks on the carpet.

  19. Marjorie Kramer says:

    It’s told in cleaning circles that the more you clean, the less time you actually spend cleaning. I would like to get a big juicy grant to study that theory, totally in the name of science, not just to get housecleaning on someone else’s dime. That said, doing only the bare minimum, I spend probably 4-6 hours per week. It’s hard to admit that I don’t clean more…

  20. Pe says:

    I think maybe 30 minutes to an hour daily. I actually hate vacuuming and have replaced all my floors with LVP. And I only have one rug so I use a stick vacuum on it every few days. I don’t like any housecleaning chores at all so I just do maintenance and have a cleaning lady come in to do scrub every two weeks. Clean linen sheets are really nice and it’s about the only thing that gives me great satisfaction and motivation to do.

  21. Thandi says:

    Our region will run out of water by the end of June if the drought doesn’t break, and for some reason the creative methods of saving as much water as possible has made my husband a lot more interested in housework. We only have 50litres of water per person per day at the moment, so dishes can be a challenge and laundry can only be done twice a week (three times if I’m sneaky). All of this means less time cleaning, and more time cleaning smart. But I do have five birds, so vacuuming happens every day. I luuuuurve vacuuming. Hate dusting. HATE IT. But birds make dust with their sheddy feathers and their stupid food.

    • Lez says:

      I live in the same area of South Africa as you Thandi, & this drought is becoming very scary. Like you, we save every recycled drop of water, all our dishwater, and mopping water all goes in the garden, we are ready with huge tanks to save every drop of rain, should it ever come again!
      As I have a guest house & a big house to clean, I’m very fortunate to have a cleaning lady twice a week for all the horrible stuff, actually I think ALL housework is horrible, but I do have to clean & tidy & do dishes & laundry. So probably an hour or so a day.

      • Thandi says:

        So scary! We rigged up our washing machine so that we collect all the water in our trusty 5litre bottles, then that water gets poured into the toilet cistern. One load of washing is 4-6 days of flushing for two people. It’s a pain, but it means I can sneak in an extra load of washing and not feel guilty.

      • Karen says:

        I can’t even imagine having to work so hard for water. It must be incredibly stressful. ~ karen!

  22. Kate says:

    7-10 hours a week sounds about right for me, unless I get in a baseboard cleaning type frenzy and spend a whole weekend doing all the things that I normally avoid. Love vacuum marks on the carpet. My favorite thing. Means my husband has been vacuuming again.

  23. Tasha says:

    I would say I do about 5 hours a week. But my husband has taken over the kitchen (which is almost enough to make me believe in god) and he is meticulous about it. So, we probably average about 25 hours a week now 🙂

  24. Centi says:

    These folks with no housework at all are millionaires, perhaps? Or husbands. People who don’t have to do it themselves. =/

  25. Cynthia Jones says:

    I don’t know.

    I do know I absolutely hate cleaning the bathtub and sink and toilet. They are old and the patina has worn off the porcelain.

    I recently discovered Shower Power so my new routine is to spray the tub, the sink and the toilet with it every morning while I shove the wet shower curtain out through the louvres to dry the bottom. I am also going to buy Shower Wash rather than use soap as the lovely tile shop lady told me that the fat in soap harbours mould to grow in the grout. Good enough for me.

    I leave it all for ten minutes and then spray the tub and sink with the hand shower hose, then wipe the toilet with toilet paper and ‘voila” clean bathroom every day. It sure saves me the horror of what I was noticing when I put my glasses on.

    I do about an hour a day cleaning and tidying, shaking mats. My husband vacuums our hardwood floors. Let them buy a Dyson and its likely they’ll take charge.

    I wash about 5 or 6 loads a week and iron once a fortnight. Tidying the garden also goes under the housework banner for me.

    I guess that’s about 10 hours a week. Not sure. I don’t have kids and do have two black Pomeranians.

    Oh yes, add in brushing the Mongolian sheepskin cushion once a day after the old girl sleeps on it.

  26. Kimberly says:

    I have three kids and two furry fur leaving pets (dog and house rabbit). So let me think:

    20 minutes a day making beds and general putting away in the morning
    15 minutes vacuuming
    35 minutes dishes
    10 minutes laundry
    30 minutes I’ll sort something

    Maybe 1.5 hours a day. I have a house cleaner come every two weeks to do a deep clean or it would be more. Sometimes it’s more. Like when I decide the kids need help with their rooms. And also there’s sometimes outdoor cleaning. I’ve timed myself for almost every single task and they always take less time than I think. Try doing this for laundry. Laundry is super quick! Yet it’s my nemesis.

    The trick for unloading the dishwasher is to unload it all (except cutlery) on to the counter above it. All of it. Then do the cutlery. Then close the dishwasher. Then take the dishes from their counter stack and put them away. It’s one more step. But way less: bend over. Walk. Put away. Walk back. Bend over. And repeat.

    Maybe everyone already does dishes like that. But I just discovered it!!

    So like 8-15 hours a week.

  27. Kimberly says:

    Also just because I can’t be alone:

    I LOVE CLEANING SO MUCH!!!

    I love to vacuum. I love to dust. I love to do the glass. I love to sort and organize (sorting and organizing is my favourite).

    Now: putting away (dishes. Laundry. Kids toys) not my favourite. It isn’t cleaning. Cleaning is fun. Putting away just needs doing. Though. Folding sheets and towels is pretty wonderful. And I like to sort the kids toys.

    I had to add this because I read through all the comments and it seems Iike people don’t like cleaning. I find it so satisfying. Especially because I am always trying new systems to make it so things stay cleaner longer. New systems for storage and just getting rid of things (love getting rid of things) and systems for kids toys. Capsule wardrobe attempts. Etc.

    Anyway. I have goals. House goals. Cleaning goals. I love this shit. Gotta stop talking about cleaning.

    😘

    • Eileen says:

      Kimberly, I will send you my address and you can come to my house anytime to work out your love of cleaning.
      I HATE CLEANING.
      There. I said it – out and proud!

    • Kmarie says:

      I love this! I agree to a certain extent but it took me a journey to get here.

    • Robert says:

      I also love to clean, when the mood strikes which unfortunately is at odd hours of the day. But folding sheets and towels or other simple pieces of cloth is a nightmare since apparently no one bothers to cut them or sew them right so I either end up with uneven corners and no wrinkles on the insides or a total mess between the folds

  28. Jeannette says:

    Karen, what is that thing you are holding in the picture? Not being one to do hours and hours of housework each week, I don’t recognize it. Should I?

    • Gwennie says:

      I believe that was “the fellas” sock and she picked it up to dust with. That was a long time ago, but I have been a faithful reader for a long time!

    • Karen says:

      That’s a sock. 🙂 I often grab one to dust with if I’m upstairs and not close to any cleaning supplies. ~ karen!

      • karin says:

        I do the same thing! But it’s usually my husbands dirt socks that he has left some random place. I have been known to dust off the toilet bowl with his underwear. The laundry chute is in the bathroom so as soon as I’m done, down it goes. Does anyone have a trick to cleaning porcelain? I feel like all I do is smear around the dirt because it is never dry enough to properly ‘dust’ and my rags never seem to pick up the dirt, just push it around.

        • Nancy W says:

          Karin

          I’m no expert at cleaning but being a perfectionist I hate those little shards of dust that get left behind on the porcelain when it’s wet…try a microfiber cloth or even paper towels. When the towel or cloth is dry it works better so maybe use a couple or three.
          That all being said I have no idea how many hours a week I spend on housework..I think it’s more like minutes…but I do spend a lot of time at work!

  29. Heather says:

    I clean for at least two hours a day Tuesday to Saturday: I run a day spa from my home, so there’s a lot a lot of cleaning and laundry. I love to cook, and that’s an everyday thing with all the clean-up that entails, so there’s another hour a day, at least. And I love vacuum marks…I never realized how much I clean. I must love it. How come my house doesn’t look like I do? 🙂

  30. Debbie says:

    Wow! A post on a Thursday! Nice to see.

    I am a clean freak according to everyone I know. I don’t think so, I was taught to do this by my Mom and my grandmothers. House gets a good scrubbing once a week, with touch-up in-between. No vacuum marks on carpet here as I have wood floors that get at least vacuumed twice a week (keep away the dust bunnies–where do those suckers come from?) and washed once a week (more for the kitchen as necessary). Oh, and I also vacuum the insides of my drawers in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, dressers, cupboards, etc., at least 2–3 times a year. It is a great time to remove unnecessary things and either throw them out or give away to charity.

    Sheets get washed weekly. When I dust, I not only do the surfaces of the furniture but the walls, corners, baseboards, under the furniture, etc. , get done as well. I have discovered that if I spritz or lightly moist the swiffer duster pad with water, that it picks up more dirt and things stay cleaner and dust free longer. I have indoor and outdoor shoes so that also helps to keep things cleaner.

    Just for those basics, it takes me 4–5 hours or so to clean the house weekly (1200 sq feet). Yes the music is blasting while I do it. I have playlists for cleaning! Or, I will also play on my Alexa, the Tick cleaning broadcast from Amazon (which cracks me up). If I am doing sorting, giving away things, deep cleaning, etc., then I devote at least a day to a couple of rooms and do it over time. The more I do it, the less there is in the long run to go through and get rid of stuff and the less time it takes.

    I also do all my own cooking, baking, etc. That is at least 4–6 hours of time a week, plus the cleaning of that (I clean as I go as I have a tiny kitchen). Then the rest of the week, I just reheat or take out of the freezer to have my meals.

    Oh, and then there is the yard work that I do as well……but at least my house and yard are pretty much company ready at any time. I love having a clean house. Feels calming and good.

    • Debbie says:

      Oh, yes, I work full time as well, so not too much free time during the week. Can’t understand folks who choose to live in a dusty, dirty environment. I especially don’t understand folks who have someone come in and clean for them and then I notice that the baseboards are filthy and there are cobwebs on the ceilings and walls. You are paying someone to do a bad job??? As I have gotten older, I do have someone come in and clean the windows (love that) and the light fixtures in the ceiling. So worth it! And the swiffer duster thing with the water spritz (I use a spray bottle), that is for the furniture, baseboards, wall corners, ceiling, etc., and no it is not soaking wet so it doesn’t ruin my furniture.

  31. Beth says:

    Between 40 and 60 hours a week, is spent on the household and large men maintenance, stray persons dropping through, and a general open door policy which usually results in piles and clumps of varied and indeterminate matter, food prep and dissemination, and the debris aftermath of all the feeding, Dish drain or dishwasher, it is the “putting away” that makes emptying either so loathesome.

    I work perpetually, what with owning my own business and my office is on the property. I do have a houseman in once or twice a week, but that is for under 12 hours and gives the fluctuation and spread between 40 and 60. Are we including grocery shopping and external hunting and gathering and whatnot in this calculation or just onsite upkeep? That would add a few more hours.

    After thinking about this, I wonder how accurate these self-defined numbers are. I do person hours of labor as part of my work when estimating labor on a project. It has been my experience that “civilians” grossly underestimate the time and labor needed for any particular task. They also grossly overestimate their own abilities and stamina, for which we are grateful as fixing their disasters of their own making is highly lucrative and an ironclad guarantee of a perpetual supply of beer and skittle and college tuition payments. But you know that….

  32. Gwennie says:

    I clean about 20 hours a week. The best thing I have done is start listening to Audible books. I find I stay focused longer on a task when I have “company”. I divide the house into zones and vacuum and dust each zone once a week. Dishes, laundry, wiping counters, etc are a many times a day job.

  33. Ann says:

    My husband and I are clutter fiends and both hate to clean.

    So recently we made a pact with ourselves. 3 days a week we set a timer and we focus on the house. So now we are consistently putting in about 6 hrs of cleaning a week, which does not include laundry or dishes which need to be done daily.

    But you know what? My house really doesn’t look all that much better….

  34. Kari from Dallas says:

    Big house, two teen boys, four dogs and a cat. I’m cleaning approximately 20 hours per week (easily conservative estimate). No maid, work from home.

    Ps, I hate cleaning. And I’m a slob.

  35. Trish says:

    About 10 but I’m not happy about it.

  36. Ella says:

    “abacus polishing folks” that was hilarious! I will have to count like they do this week, because I have no idea! I’m guessing some weeks 1 hour, some weeks 20!

  37. danni says:

    I hate to clean but I live alone so at least the mess is mine. I DO clean routine stuff all the time, (kitchen, dishes by hand, dust, mop, vacuum, wipe down bathrooms, laundry,) and other stuff, (under sink cabinets, windows, closets, walls, etc,) are saved for rainy weekends. Just this past Sunday it was a rainy day and I was up before dawn and went top to bottom for over 8 hours. So I’m gonna say average of 12 hours a week.
    During summer I’m bad tho. If the sun is out I want to be outside. Sometimes I look around and realize we need rain, if not for the garden then just so I’m trapped inside to clean!

  38. Dina says:

    First of all, I DESPISE unloading the dishwasher, putting groceries away and laundry too. I LOVE to stuff the washer full of clothes, but I’m not loving it now because I have to disconnect the hose in the back and scrape out the mineral junk that is clogging the little wire strainer! I have well water. I paid someone $$$$ to do this when my washer was not filling and I watched him and so I will not be paying the $$$$ again! Now, about housework…it’s hard. I do own a feather duster and I don’t use it enough. I do dog rescue and I could vacuum twice a day, but it’s really more like once a week, since it is so defeating…kitchen floor, should be done also once a week at the very least but more like once every three weeks, hands and knees job. At least I know what a hands and knees job for washing a floor is right? Then I ask myself: if all these dogs were not here, would I be any different? Probably not, as my favorite thing to do is stay in bed all day and listen to books on Audible and drink lots of Harney’s rose-scented tea, or garden…and not quite to gardening season here yet in Pennsylvania.

  39. Ella says:

    I wash and iron my sheets and duvet cover weekly. Takes about 2 hours but it’s how I keep up with everything I pvr’d – otherwise too much entertainment pressure. I also termed the Dyson cordless B8 vacuum “life changing” so….I am definitely NOT one of those slovenly 1 million (men).

  40. Sabina says:

    What’s a dishwasher?

  41. Jaine kunst says:

    I do laundry, make the bed, vacuum 1-2 times a month, clean my bathroom once a week and sometimes cook. I do spring cleaning which consists of wiping the pollen from the window wells and wiping down all the wood floors. But we’re empty nesters and we have separate bathrooms and when I just don’t feel like it I go to the barn and muck my horses stall. I like doing that better than cleaning my home.

    About that centipede, Karen. Several years ago in my former very old house, I tried to kill a centipede scurrying around on my bedroom wall. They’re fast little suckers. Well, he got away and I knew he was in there somewhere just waiting to crawl over me as I was sleeping. I packed my bag and went to a hotel. And if I see one in this house, I will do the same. I HATE centipedes!!

  42. Thera says:

    30/day dishes/kitchen/foyer
    30 mins weekly scrub
    30 mins laundry/week
    5 mins a day cleaning up bathroom
    30 mins weekly scrub
    15 week washing floors/vacuuming
    30 mins week cleaning stairs (white rug, black cat hair, rental)
    5 mins a day making bed/tidying room
    10 mins a day tidying entire house
    15 mins week on mirrors/windows/walls/face plates/vents
    10 mins a day for animals
    App 3-4 hours a week and I have 3 teens, 2 cats, a dog and a turtle

    *Not including cooking app 1 hour a day which would add 7 hours a week

  43. Laura says:

    I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I bet I spend 2 hours a day cleaning. I’m obsessive about it, and living with 5 indoor dogs means I have to stay on top of it. Plus it’s therapeutic! I visited my sister a couple weeks ago and voluntarily swept and mopped her kitchen and LOVED IT. I’m a psycho. And I do love vacuum marks but I never have any because I had to get rid of all carpets and rugs. Again thanks to my dogs. 🙄

  44. Nancy says:

    I once went to a funeral where at least three people spoke about how clean the deceased kept her house. I thought that was the most boring legacy to ever leave behind from a life well lived. That will never be said of me. And I don’t care. I have a big house, a dog, 9 cats (6 belong to roommate) 2.5 wooded/gardened/lawn acres and a dirt driveway. When people ask if they should take off their shoes I laugh. Fortunately, my roommate periodically gets into a “cleaning snit” and I come home to find various surfaces free of dust and pet hair and my possessions rearranged or moved to a different room. The only thing I know how many hours I spend doing on a weekly basis is work because there’s a timeclock and I have no choice. That said, I wash dishes 2-3 times a day, clean up all the crap it takes to prepare a meal, put away random shit when I need to declutter…which is a very relative term….sweep up the firewood debris/dust bunnies/tracked cat litter and driveway dirt when it bothers me enough and basically keep the house ready for anyone who cares to find a comfortable sacred space to relax, decompress, create, converse and share the joys and griefs of their life. I figured out a while back that the entirety of human existence is about making messes and cleaning them up. As far as cleaning as a regular disciplined pastime I said “Fuck that shit” a long time ago. Possibly after trying to clean up after the men in two different relationships and finally deciding that if ya can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Don’t judge me.
    I prefer to spend my waking hours in deep meaningful conversation, making art or craft, designing and building sets for youth theatre, playing in the dirt (I think there’s a clue in there) watching documentaries about quantum physics/archeology/human consciousness and evolution rather than pushing household dirt around in eager anticipation of doing it again real soon. Do I appreciate a clean house? Absolutely. Do I envy those who have spotless abodes worthy of a white-gloved mother-in-law? Sure. Do I keep my house in a condition that says “artistic pack rat not hoarder? You betcha! Am I suspect of anyone who doesn’t have a book or companion animal anywhere in sight? Yup.
    I often envy primitive cultures and animals as they don’t have to clean up as much and their respective refuse eventually goes back into the Earth. Modern humans seem to be the only species that creates substances that never decompose.
    So that’s my take on cleaning, thanks for asking. Now I’m gonna go back to researching spagyric alchemy and then go put on a play.
    Love your blog, Karen! Thanks for the entertaining education!

    • Alena says:

      LOL, I love your post, Nancy! I would love to visit since we are clearly ‘birds of feather’. Nobody will talk about how clean my house was when I die, too! I always laugh when my neighbour (who is retired) has a major cleaning fit twice a month the day before her cleaning lady is due! (I have to say that they do have an amazing cleaning lady that cleans like there is no tomorrow – you would have to see it to believe it) but I don’t think there is anything that would make me clean to make my house ‘clean enough’ for the cleaning lady!

      • Nancy says:

        Thanks Alena! I’m in Vermont, come on over…just call first so I can tidy up a bit. Hah!

        • Alena says:

          Hi Nancy,

          Now that I see you live in Vermont you are in real danger of me taking you up on the offer! I love Vermont and I drove through many times (I am a greyhound collector and I drove to New Hampshire to pick up a new greyhound many times). (I live in Ontario, just a bit north of where Karen lives – I am about 2 hours drive from Buffalo). I always get off the Interstate (I think it’s I-90?) past Troy and then I meander through Vermont because it’s so unbelievably beautiful there. The most poweful memory I have is when I went the 3rd day after 9/11 (I was not even sure if I would be able to get across the border when I was leaving because the border was sealed for a while) and I drove some quaint village, at dusk, where a small crowd gathered to hold a vigil with lit candles for the victims. It made me cry so hard I had to stop for a bit because I could not see where I was going.
          There is a big soft spot in my heart for Vermont.

    • Sue says:

      Favorite magnets on the fridge…”A clean house is a sign of a misspent life” and “Housework done properly can kill you”…that’s me in a nutshell.

      • Penny says:

        I’m with Sue, Alena and Nancy.
        No magnets on my fridge, though, instead I worked a cross-stitch sampler on Binca that says ‘Boring women have immaculate homes’.
        Of course, it took quite a while to do…… which was a good excuse for not doing borin’ ole housework.
        Rationalisation is used here more frequently than microfibre cloths.
        And, yes, my house is a MESS. Dust Bunnies??? Mine look like musk oxen..

    • Kim from Milwaukee says:

      I’m another kindred spirit, Nancy. There are just too many more pressing things to do than clean house (which is never done). My house is relatively uncluttered but most definitely not spotless, and I wouldn’t use the 5 seconds rule in my kitchen since I have 3 cats. 🙂

      I love your phrase ‘modern humans seem to be the only species that creates substances that never decompose’. I’m hoping in my lifetime we get back to basics and stop cluttering our planet with things that don’t break down and nourish Mother Earth.

      • Nancy says:

        I knew you all were out there! Thanks for pokin’ your heads up above the dust bunnies to say Hi! And apparently you’re all the kind who read the comments too. It’s become a favorite pastime of mine. Probably since leaving Facebook. It’s quite entertaining and I learn a lot. That’s how I learned about spagyric.
        Alena, I’m a transplant from Long Island but I’ve been here 40 years and it’s definitely where I belong. Feel like I probably lived here before…before it was Vermont.
        Love the magnet slogans Sue! Definitely agree!
        And Kim, yes, I’m hoping for that too. I’m a recycling Nazi and my roommate is learning so there’s always hope.
        As a tree hugging, dirt worshipping Pagan I’m always on the side of the Great Mother but’ She’s too big to fail, it’s us that needs saving.
        Rock on, ladies!

  45. Alena says:

    The amount of house work I do each week varies depending on
    1. how lazy I feel
    2. if I am reading a book

    I am an obsessive reader and I find it hard to peel myself off of a book. But, I took advantage of the fairly decent on Tuesday and I washed my living room monster window. Living in close proximity to an express way, I can wash all my windows every 2 months. In spite of being washed at the beginning of December they looked horrible and I thought my poor plants are getting barely any light (despite of the living room having southern exposure). It’s a huge window that technically consists of 3 double-hung windows, so 12 panes to wash. I focused just on the glass because it was only around 10 C (I did not get to it until about 4:45 pm) and because there are lots of plants in the living room I wanted to minimize the time they would exposed to cold air. But I am so happy I washed it! I like when the windows are so clean that it looks like there is no glass at all (is a very short-lived phenomenon but so worth it!).
    I also hung a framed picture that has been leaning against the wall for 2 months. (And I made a crockpot full of beef curry although that does not count).

  46. Heather Sykora says:

    Hmm… I used to clean so much when the kids were little. Then I started de cluttering and finally found Kondo’s book. Turns out cleaning is fun when there’s nothing to pick up first – and you have a quiet canister Miele vacuum. Also, we taught all the kids to help clean. Teaching them was ALOT of work in patience!! Now they clean the main areas of the house on a weekly basis- they rotate so it’s “fair”. They do their own laundry and clean their own bathroom. And help with the dishes when asked. And – they’re teenagers and male !! It was definitely work to get to this point!
    Of course now I have no excuse and have to stay on top of my science experiments in the fridge, deep clean my gas range, wash the windows and keep my own bedroom clean…. actually I really am curious how many hours I now spend. I will have to time myself next week.

  47. Gretchen Sexton says:

    If you count cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, and shuffling/restacking the piles of stuff around the house, I’d say I do about 10 hours/week. Sometimes the hubby kicks in–but he’s mostly the outside guy. But I have two older kids–one vacuums every week, the other cleans the bathrooms–so I get some free time. (Ha~)

  48. Diane Arias says:

    I’ve gone from HATING EVERY PART OF TAKING CARE OF MY HOUSE PERIOD while being at home with my three daughters to being determined to figuring out something that at least works. So in 2017 I tidied using the KonMari method and forcing myself through a full month of of following http://www.cleanmama.net/blog cleaning schedule.

    With that I think I’m at about an hour a day averaging the same as you with 7 hours a week all throughout the week thinking to myself I’m AMAZING at how much freaking work it is to keep up a house. Like, seriously. And I don’t do anything really consistently. But it’s a vast improvement from five years ago.

    That and I hate cleaning bathrooms. Like HATE HATE.

  49. American here, so maybe this doesn’t count. Between me and my husband, we probably spend about 4-5 hours each week cleaning and/or doing household chores. However, we live in a small apartment and don’t have any kids or pets. Also, I don’t do much cooking. I’ve always been considered a bit of a “neat freak”. It’s not so much that I like the process of cleaning, but that I feel so much calmer when it’s done. Plus, I work from home, and it’s hard to concentrate on work if I have a mess somewhere in the apartment staring at me….

  50. Kat says:

    I’d say I do maybe 5-8 hours per week, depending on how deeply I’m cleaning (also cleaning out various areas and getting rid of things is one of my favorite hobbies – but I don’t consider that housework). I, however, LOVE emptying the dishwasher – putting things back in order is so satisfying! I absolutely hate mopping, however, and delegate that to my husband ALWAYS.

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