Oct 2014

Kiwis Fight with Partners over Messy House – Survey

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A new survey commissioned by local online cleaning service Spongehero, shows that Kiwis feel flat or depressed if their house is untidy, hide things under cushions before guests arrive, and usually fight with their partner over cleaning their house.

Woman Using LaptopKiwis feel flat or depressed if their house is untidy, hide things under cushions before guests arrive, and usually fight with their partner over cleaning their house according to a new study.

The research also showed New Zealanders admit being too busy to clean and often live in what they describe as a ‘pigsty” due to the pressures of modern living, with young children and partners often blamed for the mess.

The survey commissioned by local online cleaning service SpongeHero, investigated the impact having a dirty home had on Kiwis and their families.

It found that four in ten (40%) New Zealanders said they are usually too busy to vacuum, dust the house or clean the bathroom regularly. This figure was higher for females at 45% compared to just over a third (34%) of males.

As well as being too busy to clean, many women admitted to feeling miserable and depressed when their home wasn’t tidy.  More than two thirds (67%) said having a messy home left them feeling flat or depressed.  They also reported a higher likelihood of feeling miserable at 75% compared to males at 57%.

Women surveyed said they were also more likely to be to be annoyed if their home was filthy than their partners, saying it was often the cause of matrimonial discontent. More than four in ten (42%) women said they had had an argument with their partner about the cleanliness of their house!

The research also laid bare some of the sneaky ways that Kiwis try to keep up appearances when it comes to their home. If you’ve always been a little suspicious of just how your friends manage to run a busy life and an immaculate home, then their secrets have also been revealed.

Around half (49%) of the New Zealand population admitted to hiding clutter under cushions, behind couches, or inside cupboards or drawers when guests were coming over!

More than four in ten (44%) of those surveyed said they had times when they would describe their house as a pigsty. This figure was higher among Generation X (those aged 35-44) at 58%.

It was also higher among those with preschool aged children in the household with more than two thirds (68%) saying the house was a “pigsty” at times.

When asked which well known Kiwi they thought had the cleanest house, Prime Minister John Key came out on top at 29%, followed by Trelise Cooper with 14%. Rachel Hunter, Sally Ridge and Sir Peter Jackson were also mentioned on 5%, 4% and 3% respectively.

The likelihood of being too busy to clean the house declined noticeably with age with 53% of Generation Y (those aged under 25) stating they were too busy compared to just 20% of those aged 65 or older.

Psychologist Sara Chatwin says the results show that while Kiwis like to keep a clean and tidy house, daily pressures; work, children and related stressors sometimes make it hard for us to attain a level of cleanliness that is satisfactory.

“For many people house tidiness and cleanliness is directly linked to their feelings of achievement and accomplishment. When this lapses we can feel like ‘underachievers’ or failures. This may indicate that our houses may be a reflection of who we are.

“Personal standards are a large part of who we are and how we present. We feel as though we haven’t ‘done our best/given of our best’ and this may leave use feeling under-whelmed,” says Chatwin.

She says many people remark about how great it feels when they have a ‘spring clean’ or a tidy up. The whole process of cleaning can be quite cathartic and empowering and can bolster feelings of accomplishment.

“The results also show that often people resort to desperate measures to hide rubbish, to appear as though they have their house work under control, which shows that not only do we care about what we think about our homes, we do care what others think about our standards,” says Chatwin.

SpongeHero Managing Director Kenneth Ho says the on-demand residential cleaning service was launched with busy mobile Kiwis in mind.

Ho says by using technology, it is possible to schedule and manage a cleaning service remotely – which frees up more time for the activities we want to do more of.

For more information visit www.spongehero.co.nz

The Perceptive Research omnibus surveys a minimum of 1,000 New Zealanders online using a nationwide sampling framework, the results are then weighted to Statistics New Zealand census gender, age and location data. This sample size consisted of 1122 participants.

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Fleur Revell
Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age.
Kiwis Fight with Partners over Messy House – Survey
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