Will you spend 2 years of your life cleaning your home?

You could be amongst 47% of UK residents who spend 2 years of their lives cleaning, according to research from Harvey Water Softeners and TalkHealth.

The study, which asked people how long they spend on average cleaning around their homes, was conducted to better understand cleaning habits and where we could be making savings when taking care of our homes.

It revealed that nearly half of us are spending a total of 2 whole years of our lives cleaning – which is a huge proportion, especially when you consider how you could have been spending that time otherwise!

To put it into perspective, 2 years (730 days) spent cleaning could be spent:

– Taking 52 2-week holidays – imagine how relaxed you’d be after that!

– Completing a full 3 year degree course (5 days per week x 48 teaching weeks) – all of that knowledge!

– Learning to drive 405 times (it takes 45 hours on average according to the DVSA) – vroom vroom!

– Building 3.4 houses (it takes 7 months to build one, according to the Survey of Construction)

– Watching all episodes of Great British Bake Off, from the start, 208 times (85 episodes, 1 hour each)

– Reading War and Peace 730 times (apparently, it takes just under 24 hours)

OK, so much of this is to be taken with a pinch of salt as you’re not likely to want to watch GBBO that many times (probably…). But even so, 2 years is a lot of time to spend!

The survey also asked respondents how much money they spent on household cleaning products per month, with one-third (33%) stating they spent between £11-15. Based on a 35 year mortgage, you could be spending £6,300 on cleaning your home before you’ve even paid for it – or a whopping £10,800 over a lifetime assuming you start paying for cleaning products at the age of 20 and continue until the average life expectancy of 80. Shockingly, 4% of respondents said they spent a minimum of £25 per month on cleaning products, which is £18,000 over 60 years.

How can you reduce the time you spend cleaning your home?

Cleaning will, inevitably, always be a part of taking care of a home. But it doesn’t have to get in the way of precious time with your family or relaxation time for yourself. We’ve collated some tops tips to reduce the time – and the money – you spend cleaning:

Tackle limescale and mildew at its source

Much of what takes our time cleaning is trying to scrub away limescale and mildew. But, contrary to popular belief, limescale and mildew aren’t an inevitable part of your home.

In fact, limescale and mildew are actually caused by the type of water you have coming into your home. If you live in an area with soft water, that means your water lacks high densities of minerals like magnesium and calcium – because those are what make up limescale, areas with soft water will suffer far less from limescale build up.

This means, if you live in a hard water area, you can tackle limescale and mildew build up by investing in a water treatment, such as a water softener (which will treat the water throughout your home) or a water treating shower head (which will only reduce limescale in your shower).

Set clear cleaning boundaries

If you find yourself spending a lot of time cleaning, it could be that you’re simply allowing yourself too much of that time.

Consider how you approach your cleaning and whether you can confine the activity to a strict time period or day of the week. Say you set aside 2 hours on a Sunday morning, that will mean you can ringfence that time for cleaning and know that all other cleaning can wait until that time.

It’s also worth enlisting the help of other people in the house, such as your family or housemates. Dividing tasks between you and using a rota can help to dilute the focus you have on cleaning yourself and allow you more time to do the things you enjoy.

Spend more time outside

It might sound obvious, but your home is much more likely to stay clean without you in it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be spending time in your home, but that you might seek alternative places to spend your time, such as getting outdoors or checking out activities available to you in your local area.

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Winchester, Hampshire

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Eastbury, Berkshire

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Camberley, Surrey

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Southampton, Hampshire