Have you ever given any thought to how people are so different on so many levels? For instance, I was at a friend’s house, and as soon as I started washing the dishes after the dinner we had, she told me “Are you crazy? Leave those in there, I will take care of them tomorrow.”. Well, I am a little crazy, but still, for me washing the dishes right after a meal is something absolutely normal, it’s even a ritual of mine. It makes me feel satisfied that I won’t have to do them tomorrow. All this made me think about how people can be summed up in various categories even when it comes to their housekeeping habits. We all think that we are unique and that our tastes and experiences are our own, but it turns that there are many people who are just like us. Here are the general cleaning personality types and the custom chore charts, which fit them perfectly:
The Various Personality Types and Their Custom Chore Charts
The OCD Type. Called also “the perfectionist”, the OCD type is unable to look at a mess and sit still at the same time. They love to clean, they live to mop their floors and wash their dishes the second they get dirty. They never back down, not until their house is completely clean and all the housekeeping chores in the list are crossed. You also won’t find even one cluttered area in the perfectionist’s home – these people don’t get attached to junk, they like their living conditions to be spotless and neat. Their cleaning schedule is always full – they have chores waiting for them every single day, from early morning all through the evening. They would probably have nightmares if they forget to clean something on time. The housekeeping chart of the OCD type is just as neat as their home – everything is written down meticulously and there is a special area for checks, crosses and notes. They don’t need a reward chart to make them finish their chores, their only reward is to see their home perfect. The result is – a clean house and a very tired, grumpy home owner. And just for your safety – don’t try to talk them out of it, you might get hurt in the process. Here’s what their chore chart looks like:
The Half-Assed Type. These people are a softer version of the OCD type. They are not as much obsessed by their house cleaning checklist, but their motto is still “Keeping up is always better than catching up”. They have their own small rituals they follow every single day, like doing the dishes every night or the laundry once a week. However, once you go around their house, you will quickly notice that they are not cleaning robots. Instead of putting things like mail and toys away, they just stack them in neat piles, which can sit there for days. The half-assed cleaning personality type doesn’t need a reward chart for their efforts too, they consider their cleaning schedules to be a necessary evil, which helps them stay on top. Clutter can be noticed in areas like basements or attics, simply because they rarely go there, it’s not usually on their chore list. People like that are usually great guest hosts and friends. Their chore charts are way more simplistic:
The “It can wait” Type. I am practically the definition of this type of cleaning personality. Sure, we try our best to keep our homes clean and well organized, but if we must choose between sleep and our housekeeping chores, sleep will always win. As well as watching a nice movie or having a drink with friends. I guess my cleaning type has its priorities in check – fun first, the hideous domestic work later. Which is a completely valid way of life. I guess, if I had a reward chart growing up, I would be more motivated to clean when I grow up. Being the “it can wait” type also means that you are deeply embarrassed every time the doorbell rings, and “Sorry about the mess” is something you say more often than you want to. But this only means that you’re a decent human being. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a neat freak to be a good person. Their cleaning checklist is quite straightforward:
The Hoarder Type. These people need some help with their housekeeping chores and the state of their homes in general. Hoarding types can vary, from people who are just attached to a few pointless items, to people who feel the need to save and collect everything they ever touch. Being a hoarder is quite easy from one side, because you don’t have to worry about a cleaning schedule, simply because you don’t have one. Their motto states “Why bother cleaning, when it will get dirty again?”. The hoarder’s house is usually stuffed with so many items that there’s barely space for anyone to live there. Clutter is their way of life, and absolutely nothing, not even a reward chart with various bonuses for each completed task, will sway them from that. They don’t own a vacuum cleaner or a mop, and they think that cleaning supplies exist to keep people down. I would personally avoid people and houses like that, unless you want to discover a new species among the mildew and dust.
The Faker Type. I must admit, we are all fakers at some point. You know what I mean, we all have those moments when we clean everything up to a perfect state right before the guests arrive, but once they are gone, the mess stays there for days. This type of people likes to show that they have control over their household and all the housekeeping chores in it, but the truth is that they are just as flawed as the rest of us. They are very close to the “it can wait” type – they acknowledge the importance of having a clean home, but they also realize that there are much more important things in life than that. No reward chart will make them change their minds – they like everything just the way it is. The only thing you can do about it is call before you visit. Their house cleaning checklist is also very simple:
How to Find Out Which Cleaning Personality Type is Yours?
Now that you’re familiar with all the possible cleaning personalities and their corresponding chore charts, it’s time to determine which one is yours. Doing this is quite easy, you just need to reply to one simple question:
You’re relaxing at home, when your best friends from out of town call you and say “Hey, we’re in town, we’re on a tight schedule and we’ll be over in 1 hour to see you!”. What do you do?
A. You say “Yeah, I’ll be glad to see you!” and you hang up. You do a quick check – your dishes are done, your carpet is spotless, there’s no laundry lying around, you have snacks to offer, you’re good to go. But still, you find something you think should be cleaned. Typical OCD type of behaviour.
B. You say “That’s great, I’ll be waiting”. You hang up and you instantly remember a few things which need to be done before your home is good for guests. You wash a few dishes, you fold some laundry that’s been lying around since yesterday, and you move on to more important things, like making sure that you look dashing for your guests. This type of reaction is typical for the half-assed cleaning personality – they are good with their housekeeping chores, but at the same time they are not the most important thing in the world.
C. You say “Aaaam, yeah, sure…”. You hang up and you start feeling that weird panic sensation. It starts to grow bigger as you look around the room and you notice dirt on the floor, toys all around, clothes (both washed and not) lying on every piece of furniture. Your solution – stuff everything into one room, which will be off-limits to the guests. Then quickly vacuum the carpet and move the smaller furniture around to cover the stains. And the dishes? Well, this is a home, people live here, so it’s natural that there will be dishes in the sink. Typical It Can Wait type of person, to whom the housekeeping chore chart is just a distant concept.
D. You answer is “Are you sure you want to come here?”. You look around – the entire place is trashed! You never throw away stuff, so you have a decade’s worth trash placed all over the room, and you can’t do anything about it, because “it might be useful someday”. You just move a few things around to make enough space on the couch for someone to sit, and you’re done! This is the sad reality of the Hoarder type. In their reality, the clutter is nothing to be worried about. Not even the strictest house cleaning checklist will help them, simply because they don’t believe in order.
E. “Eeeh, can’t we postpone it? Maybe I’ll visit you the next weekend?”. This is a typical answer you would hear from a Faker. They are ready to do almost everything, just to be able to escape the horrid housekeeping chores. If they must, they will spruce up a little before you arrive, but they will do everything possible to avoid it. Maybe if you called yesterday…
Here are some tips on how to live with messy people:
Chores for Kids and Reward Charts.
Kids are a whole new category when it comes to cleaning personalities and doing housekeeping chores. They are still unburdened by the weight of life, and with the right approach, you can teach them to even enjoy tasks like cleaning and gardening. Of course, forcing them into a cleaning schedule is a very wrong approach, which will probably make your kids hate cleaning for the rest of their lives. Most psychological studies show, that the game approach and the reward charts are the best possible options in this case. If you make a funny chore chart with checking options and possible rewards for when the chore is finished, you have a great chance of success in making your kid do housework. Other things which can make chores for kids more interesting and appealing are:
- Make funny chore charts with prizes, badges or other motivational markers.
- Turn everything into a game. Kids love games and it’s proven that if you make the housekeeping chores seem like a game, they will bite the bait. For instance, when I make my daughter help collecting and folding the laundry, I tell her that it’s a rescue mission and we must save the clothes from a coming storm. We had some great times doing that.
- Invent difficult challenges, where there are obstacles, riddles and other cool things your kid must do while fulfilling the chore list. This will keep them engaged and focused on the task at hand.
- Introduce a greater purpose to all the housekeeping chores. You must ensure your kid that the entire cleaning checklist and all the unpleasant chores have some bigger purpose. In this case sentences like “Do it because I tell you to” and “Do it because otherwise…” won’t work. Instead you can try with things like “I really need your help” and “It’s important, because…”. Every child likes to feel needed and appreciated. High fives are also a good motivation.
- Give your child some independence. Being bossy won’t help your kid perform better with their chores. Instead of a controlling language, you could try with some suggestions and friendly tips. The more motivated your kid is, the bigger is the chance that all the tasks in the chore chart will be fulfilled.
Here are some examples of kid’s chore charts you can print and use: