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How Have Aussies’ Cleaning Habits Changed Since COVID-19’s Arrival?

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What are Australians’ lockdown habits? Which are the most hated cleaning chores? How do families cope with cleaning and home maintenance during the pandemic? All this and more in our special piece.

The recent pandemic has changed our lives immensely, testing our mental strength and our ability to adapt fast to what’s coming next. One of the biggest challenges has been putting aside our well-known daily routines and embracing new ones, involving less time outdoors, work from home and special time to learn new things like how to make homemade hand sanitiser. Things you never thought you would need to know.

However, with hygiene becoming a top priority, we all had to reevaluate our cleaning habits, in order to best protect our health and stay safe. What’s the damage so far? Well, recent research conducted by PureProfile on behalf of Fantastic Services Group explored a representative sample of 1,002 Australians (18 years and older) to shed some light on the question.

Keep reading on because, we have to admit, some results really surprised us.

Which were the preferred home maintenance activities during the lockdown?

So, how did Australians change their habits when it comes to cleaning and maintaining their houses during the lockdown? As it turns out, one in two people (49%) invested their personal time in gardening, while just one in four (28%) preferred to deep clean their homes. Women put most of their time in decluttering (54%) during the lockdown, whereas men (51%) opted to get their gardening gloves on.

It appears that the COVID-19 restrictions have taken something from people, but they have also given something back. And that is free time. The necessary time to finally go through everything that’s been piling up for months, even years, and freeing up some space for the new and more important stuff.

Moreover, the lack of social contact and the necessity to be in an enclosed space for long can easily trigger anxiety and other similar conditions in a lot of people. So, it’s easy to understand why so many turned to cleaning and organising as a form of therapy. Decluttering can help us take our mind off things, it can trigger positive memories, fix our mood and, therefore, reduce anxiety before it takes over us.

Similar is the effect that gardening has on us. Seems like the pandemic has put Aussies into a gardening frenzy and there are good reasons for it. For starters, the unexpected extra free time has provoked many people to learn a new skill or take up a hobby.

The backyard provides a safe outdoor space for kids to play or for adults to read a book, while enjoying some sun and fresh air. So it’s only natural for one to pay more attention to this area and want not just to make it look good, but be also safe for the family members.

As it turns out, there are some things lurking out there that you need to look out for. “Spiders in the garden are a big concern for families with small children around Melbourne. They often like to hide in tall grass and piles of garden waste. And as you know, we have some scary looking species here.”, shares Dineth, a Fantastic gardener from Melbourne.

“The most common service we’re being called for is weeding and removing leaves and waste, so the kiddos can play outdoors safely.”, he also adds.

Despite some dangers, gardening’s popularity will probably continue to grow. The main reason lies in the fact that it has provided and continues to provide the so needed comfort in these uncertain times. Just like it had been doing throughout history during times of rapid social change.

What home chores do Australians hate the most?

Despite all that has happened over the past year, there is a quarter (28%) of Australians who admit that the pandemic hasn’t changed their cleaning habits and that they continue to look after their homes the same way they did before the COVID-19’s arrival.

How exactly do they do it? The research data shows that a quarter (25%) of Aussies normally dedicate more than three hours per week to cleaning their homes. However, pandemic or no pandemic, the hate for certain cleaning tasks remains all the same.

  • When we talk about most hated chores in Australia, bathroom cleaning wins with 38%.
  • Mopping/vacuuming the floors doesn’t seem to be a pleasant job either, with 17% saying that they dread doing it.
  • Taking care of the kitchen’s hygiene is also not the most pleasant job for 12% of the people.

Australians also struggle to find time for certain cleaning tasks, with 46% skipping on washing their windows and 38% doing the same when it comes to oven cleaning. Considering how much time and elbow grease these two chores require, we can’t say we blame them. Good 21% of Aussies also like to skip on cleaning the fridge.

“We can concur with these findings, they correlate perfectly with our own statistics.”, says Paul Mangold, a Fantastic Quality Control Officer from Melbourne.

“Bathroom cleaning and indoor window cleaning are on the task list of almost every domestic cleaning appointment we have. The main reason is that these parts usually take a lot of time to clean, and many people get discouraged. And with time, mould and limescale make the task even more difficult. This is when they usually seek our help.”, reveals Mangold.

Apart from cleaning, tasks like ironing also make it to the top of “The most hated chores” category. 49% of Australians admit that they don’t bother ironing. While 13% confess they are not big fans of garden maintenance.

There is a lot to cover on a regular basis, and the fact that we have to spend more time indoors doesn’t really help, as we use kitchen appliances and other areas at home more frequently. This results in having more to clean at the end of the week, which can be pretty stressful, especially when you have other things to look after, too. In fact, one in four (23%) Australians admit to being too busy to stay on top of cleaning.

In times like these, it is good to have someone to rely on and who better to turn to than family members. Surprisingly, this may add up to the stress at home, as a solid 72% of Australians admit that they fight with their partner over the house chores.

One in two (52%) women say that they are the only ones who clean the house and one in five (20%) men confess that they prefer to leave the cleaning chores to their partner. Only 5% are those eager to assign some of those home maintenance tasks to the kids.

Regardless, just 6% say that they choose to get a professional’s help for the cleaning of their properties. While the pandemic has made us all highly aware of the importance of social distancing and isolation, having a reliable and fully vetted cleaner can help take the pressure off. Thus, giving families some flexibility and the opportunity to engage in more pleasant activities together.

How has Covid-19 changed our cleaning habits?

For most of us, it seems like the pandemic didn’t manage to spark that big love for cleaning after all. Nevertheless, it certainly changed our perception of hygiene and made us recognise the many potential threats we come into contact daily that can harbour dangerous germs for quite some time.

So, when it comes to germs and disinfection, we can sum up the results of the study as follows:

  • One in four (27%) Australians are now very anxious about germs as a result of the pandemic.
  • A quarter (26%) of Aussies are scared of getting sick from germs in holiday accommodation.
  • Almost half (40%) are concerned about the cleanliness of their workplace when returning to work post-lockdown.

While it appears that we will have to continue to stay highly alert about germs and hygiene, it is important to remember that we are not alone in this. We are all struggling, but there are people who can help us get through this, take the burden off and help us adjust to the new “normal” as smoothly as possible. It is up to us to ask for help when needed, and try to get by as best we can.

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We hope you found this article interesting! We will be more than happy if you share your personal experience in the comments below. So tell us, what was Covid-19’s impact on your cleaning habits? What is your preferred and most hated cleaning chore?

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