The way most women clean is a daunting task. We’re thorough and we want the house to be spotless. So for us, cleaning can involve a big time commitment and often has a slow pay-off.
Contrast that with the way men clean. When men clean, it is all about speed, convenience, and instant gratification. It might take me an hour to carefully scrub a room, but my husband can whip a room into passable shape in five minutes flat.
There is a time and a place for thorough scrubbing, but a woman who learns to make a room presentable on limited time has made our home a more enjoyable place. That’s why I’m glad to be learning how most men go about their housekeeping:
- Men are always “almost done.” This principle is the most important rule of “man-cleaning.” When I clean, I tend to have toilet bowl cleaner in every bathroom, books off the shelf to dust, and a floor half-swept—all at the same time. When a man takes on a cleaning task, he finishes it before he moves onto something else. That way, he is never faced with a half-done task he must finish before he can stop cleaning. Every additional task he takes on is voluntary. And voluntary tasks are always more fun.
- Men move the mess. After I cook, the pile of dishes can drive me out of the kitchen. Adam just laughs and tells me to give him thirty seconds. When I come back, the big, scary mess is gone—and all he has done is pile the dishes up to clear more counter space! Big messes are daunting. When men are faced with a big, scary mess, they rearrange it something a little less frightening.
- Men start with what they can see. A man never starts cleaning with a bottle of bathroom spray or a duster. He starts with the big items of clutter he can take care of right away. That way, he gets instant gratification for his efforts.
- Men set themselves up for success. Left to their own devices, men have an idea where everything goes. If something doesn’t have a place, they either make one for it or chuck it out. They pay special attention to items they have to clean again and again. For example, Adam noticed he was always picking up coats off the banister, so he moved the coatrack closer to the back door for an instant home improvement.
- Men clean in spurts. A man would much rather spend five minutes a night straightening up a small mess than thirty straight minutes a week cleaning a large mess. Especially when kids are involved, a single day’s mess is daunting enough.
As almost any bachelor’s apartment demonstrates, man-cleaning isn’t enough to keep a home clean and comfortable. But a keeping good balance between simple straightening and heavy cleaning in your housekeeping brings ease to your day and joy to your home.
Does your man have any clean-home secrets? Share them with us in the comments.