Housework harms 40% of New Zealand homes

By Craig Zammit

NEW ZEALAND: A survey commissioned by deep cleaning specialist Bissell on the cleaning habits of New Zealand residents, shows that up to 40 per cent of homes have arguments over cleaning.

The Housework Habits Survey, which was conducted by New Zealand consultant, TNS, and which surveyed 1000 men and women, found males in Auckland are most likely to argue over housework, causing arguments in 48 per cent of households.

In Wellington and Christchurch, the squabbling occurs less often, with arguments occurring in 33 per cent and 31 per cent of households respectively.

Three quarters of females surveyed suggested that men should do more cleaning around the house, however not surprisingly only 37 per cent of males agreed.

The survey also found that the impact of modern household appliances, such as dishwashers, have helped reduce workloads for men and women around the home, with dish washing consuming only 1.03 hours per week, the least amount of time on average.

Of women surveyed, laundry was rated as the most time consuming chore for women however, with an average of 3.01 hours per week spent washing clothes. Mopping the floor rated second (2.89 hours), with cleaning the kitchen (2.62 hours) and general tidying up (2.21 hours) closely behind.

Women it seems still carry out the bulk of household cleaning, with the average time spent cleaning by women each week sitting at 14.5 hours, while 64 per cent of women claim to be the major contributor to completing the chores.

Bissell New Zealand general manager, Andrew Higgs, believes that the traditional view of the female role within the home may unfortunately be still with us today.

"The survey shows most women are still tasked with the job of cleaning the home despite the fact they may be juggling the commitments of a fulltime career as well as motherhood," said Higgs.

While 69 per cent of Kiwi men preferred to have the house clean and tidy most or all of the time, 36 per cent were happy admitting they leave the house work for others to do, with 46 percent stating the other chores they perform around the home take up their time – predictably only 26 per cent of women agreed.

As far as men’s preference to which cleaning chore they mind the least, the most popular response was taking out the rubbish, with cleaning the bathroom the most hated.

Women on the other hand rated washing the windows as their least favourite household chore, with making the beds rating as the chore they minded the least.

"Based on these results, it may seem that children, spouses or partners may want to help share the load – but it shouldn’t just be on Mother’s Day that women get a housework vacation either."

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