Once we fly the nest and set up home, as adults we still cannot escape the fear of disapproval from our parents when it comes to our domestic lives.
One in five UK adults (20%) worries about their parents’ opinions the most when welcoming them into our homes according to German home appliance manufacturer Vorwerk.
And while both men and women worry about what their own mums and dads think about the state of their homes, what their in-laws think is quite another matter. The numbers drop significantly for the in-laws, as less than one in 10 worry about what the in-laws think when visiting (9%).
Host with the most
Parents are not the only visitors who get UK households into a domestic frenzy though, with 52% of us spending between one and two hours cleaning before guests arrive. Twenty per cent spend less than an hour preparing, and 28% spend more than two hours.
Both men and women are most likely to reach for the vacuum cleaner ahead of any other household chore when expecting guests (75%), followed by tidying up (45%), cleaning the bathroom (39%), dusting (38%) and washing up (25%).
Keeping up appearances
How we appear to keep our homes and how we actually keep our homes might be two different things though, and men and women have a different approach.
This research reveals that 46% of women will fly into a panic and begin emergency cleaning if visitors appear unexpectedly, while 40% of men stay cool about the situation and only 24% feel the need to do any sprucing up. While 27% of women say they don’t worry about a bit of mess when caught off-guard, 8% will go as far as suggesting another meeting place to avoid loved ones popping in altogether.
The majority (72%) of us turn to shortcuts to help us keep up our clean and tidy appearances. Top five shortcut clean-up tactics:
1. Hide things in the junk room (29%)
2. Light a scented candle (17%)
3. Hide things under the beds (15%)
4. Hide items in the garage (12%)
5. Hide things in the dishwasher (8%)
Cleanest corners of the UK
There could be areas of the UK where you are most likely to find a clean house if you are stopping by unannounced. While 42% of households in the South West will do a frantic clean to welcome you, only 24% in Wales will be prepared to get the vacuum out.
In fact, people in Wales are the most relaxed about unannounced guests in their homes, with 39% of people saying mess isn't a problem. This compares with only 22% of residents in Northern Ireland having the same laid back attitude.
Speaking about the findings, cleaning expert and star of Channel 4 Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, Lynsey Queen of Clean, said: “While many of us might moan about cleaning, lots of us really are very house proud and want to give off the best impression to friends and family.
“I’m not personally a fan of the ‘hide-it-and-hope-for-the-best’ approach, but there are lots of shortcuts that you can quickly and easily do if you get a sudden text or call from a friend on their way around.”
Thomas Henningsson, from Vorwerk, added: “With Christmas and the festive season just around the corner, it’s good to know that there are gadgets and gizmos out there that can really help take the effort out of cleaning - as well as more quirky shortcuts. We’ve had fun finding out about the innovative hiding places that people hide their clutter – apparently it gets hidden in everywhere from the laundry basket, wheelie bin, and even the dishwasher!”
Lynsey Queen of Clean’s top tips for getting your home guest ready
1. Start off by clearing the entrance of your home so guests don’t fall clutter when they walk in. Make sure your door mat is clean by giving it a shake and sweep away any dirt.
2. Next, clean the kitchen. Put any dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher and make sure your tea towels are clean. Spray a damp microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and use it to wipe over kitchen surfaces and brush crumbs onto the floor, then vacuum the room.
3. Guests are likely to spend a lot of time in your living room. Tidy away clutter such as books and magazines, and if you have a pet, rub your furniture with a damp rubber glove to remove pet hair. Spray your sofas with a fabric freshener and turn your cushions over instead of vacuuming them to save time.
4. The bathroom is an area in your home where your guests will spend time alone and will make judgements about how clean it is! If you only have a minute, do these three things: 1. Get an antibacterial wipe and wipe down the sink, the toilet seat (with a new one) and underneath the base of the toilet. 2. Scrub the inside of the toilet. 3. Get a new fresh hand towel.
5. Lastly, if there’s a room in your home that you don’t want guests to enter, simply closing the door will make them less likely to go in.
Vorwerk offers the ultimate home cleaning solution. Combining German engineering, expertise, and ingenuity, Vorwerk has the products needed to keep the modern home clean, hygienic, and ready for everything that life throws at it.
Already found in millions of European homes, the Vorwerk Kobold VK200 is much more than a vacuum cleaner. It’s a high-tech solution to deep-clean carpets, hard floors, curtains, and mattresses.