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What's your cleaning personality?

Are you an all-or-nothing type?  A bits and pieces cleaner? Maybe a hate cleaner?   Understanding your cleaning personality can help you discover ways to do it better and faster.   Which one do you identify with most?

1. The bits n' pieces cleaner

Time-poor, you opt for the piecemeal approach, sneaking in 10 minutes of scrubbing here, a quick toilet clean there, a little dusting later.   You don't have to be motivated by total chaos or work yourself up for a major clean, you do a little bit every day (whenever you can).  Usually a big multi-tasker, you might even squeeze in cleaning something while doing something else (like talking on the phone).   You'll clean the bathroom mirror while doing your teeth and scrub tiles while showering.

The pros:  The more often you clean the easier it is to stay on top of things, before they become a problem so that's good.

The cons:  Trying to do too much at once could be adding to your stress load, so cut yourself a break and occasionally just do one thing at a time, like watching TV without dust -bustering the lounge.  Keep a checklist of weekly tasks so you don't miss anything (which can be a pitfall of bits and pieces cleaning) and try to fit in a longer, once-a week session so you get some deep cleaning done.  

2. The tidier

You never met a pile of paper you couldn't stack, or knick nacks you couldn't organise.  But actual cleaning?   Hmmm....

The pros: Organising and tidying is a Good Thing.

The cons:  It doesn't replace real cleaning, and you might be simply procrastinating by shuffling things around.  Time to stop avoiding cleaning and get it done.  Buy products in scents you love and tools in bright, fun colours.  And when you do straighten and stack, be more effecient by having a basket system, and being ruthless about throwing things out.  Clutter builds up quickly, so make sure you're not just organising chaos.

3. The angry cleaner

Had a run in with a co-worker?  Mother in law interferring?  Fight with hubby?    Where's that *&^$&%* vaccum cleaner?!   You enjoy taking out your frustrations on on a grubby house, at least it prevents you killing someone, right?

The pros: Cleaning is one of the healthier ways to channel anger!  Its better than sitting around stewing and because cleaning is physical it can help release some of the adrenaline built up in your system.  Use angry cleaning to your advantage and tackle some of the tasks you normally don't have energy for.  But clean when you're happy too, or you'll start to associate cleaning with feeling bad.

The cons:  No matter how much your bench tops gleam, at some point you'll still have to address the issues that upset you in the first place.

4. The neat & clean freak

You could probably eat off any surface in your house - not that you would ever allow that.  If so much as a tea leaf flutters to the floor, you're there with a dust pan to sweep it up.  You probably have a concientious personality in most areas of life, and can be highly critical of yourself and concerned about how others percieve you.

The pros:  Your home looks like a display home, inviting awe whenever guests come around.

The cons: You can make family and friends feel uncomfortable by taking your cleaning obsession too far - for example leaping up to scrub pots instead of relaxing at a family dinner, or sweeping away a guest's coffee mug the minute they put it down.  Cleaning can become compulsive, so make sure your push for perfection doesn't get out of control.

5. The weekly hurrah

Do you do very little during the week then spend one day cleaning your house from top to bottom?  If you fit this personality it's likely you were raised that way, and continue on the tradition.  You also like routine.

The pros: Your home gets cleaned regularly, and usually very well.

The cons: By spending a large chunk of your weekend cleaning you could be missing quality family time.  Make time to enjoy your weekends, too.

6. The delegator

You like a clean home, but don't like (or don't have time) to do it yourself.  You like to focus on things that are more important to you, so you outsource your cleaning.

The pros: Professional help reduces stress and ensures you can make quality time for work and family

The cons:  It's expensive, cleaners don't clean everywhere, and there's a chance small things are being missed - make sure you do your own deep cleaning from time to time.

7. The panicker

If you say "Oh cr#p!" when a friend says they're coming to your home, you are likely a Panicker.  You go into a frenzy, throwing stuff behind closed doors, putting dirty dishes in your oven and frantically scrubbing filthy toilets.

The pros: You prove how much can get done in a short amount of time!  When you have a deadline, you can do amazing things.

The cons: There's a good chance your house is never really clean, and your cupboards are crammed with stuff.  A good idea for this personality type is to have a regular get-together at your home.  Having this "deadline" every week will help you keep your home clean & organised.

8. The "rats"

Don't really give a rats?   This is your personality - the opposite of the one above.  When a friend says they are coming over, you look around your home, notice it's pretty messy and say "Meh, it'll do."  A mess doesn't stress you out.  You're comfy with chaotic.  And you really don't give two hoots what others think about your home.

The pros: You're comfortable in your own skin, laid back, and no-one ever feels inadequate or judged when they're in your home.

The cons: You could have a bit of a distorted view on the condition of your home, and actually be causing structural damage or health issues by not cleaning it regularly.  Ask an honest friend if you're not sure if your home needs a more regular clean!