Our dirty little secret: Cleaning the house before the maid arrives

July 10, 2018

We all view clean living as admirable—but are you among the two-thirds (66%) of householders who admit to spiffing up their homes even before the maid or housekeeper arrives? That figure is even higher (80%) for families with kids, based on findings of a survey for U.K. kitchen retailer Magnet.

It is literally our “dirty little secret.” The poll found that fully 95% of British respondents described themselves as “house proud”—and that they don’t want to admit how begrimed they really are at home, even to professional cleaning services.

The living room (46%) and kitchen (32%) are the two rooms we like to show off the most—and are, therefore, the spaces we tidy up the most before the cleaning staff shows up. While the poll doesn’t mention them, bathrooms also get attention from many of our friends—especially those with messy, young children—before the help can see them in their usual, squalid state.

One-quarter (25%) of us take greater pride in our homes than our parents did at the same age—and nearly one-third of us are prouder of our living quarters than we were just ten years ago.

Indeed, more than half of the homeowners polled confessed to having become more orderly (51%) on a regular basis after a past incident during which they were embarrassed to show their homes to unexpected guests.

And it’s not just the furniture and electrical items that matter: Half of us respondents believe it’s important that crockery matches—but only for special guests. The majority of Brits only get their best crockery and cutlery out less than twice a year (78%).

Tech takes top place for those who are trying to make a good impression, as the TV is the object in which we take greatest pride, (15%), followed by the oven (9%) and professional artwork (10%).

A Magnet spokesperson said: ‘We set out to identify how house-proud [the UK is] as a nation and we were reassured to see just how much a nice home means to us. In times of economic uncertainty, people want a home they can not only see as a haven they can relax and de-stress in, but also show off to friends and visitors as a marker of what they work hard for.”

Yorkshire (96%) is the most house-proud region of the country, while those in Wales considered cleanliness the least important. It’s the older generation (the over-70s) who are the most proud of their homes (98%),  closely followed by Millennials (96%).

Research contact: @MagnetUK

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