Survey Reveals Spring Cleaning Could Be a Thing of the Past

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The first-ever Stanley Steemer Spring Cleaning survey found that nearly half of all Americans predict they will spend less than four hours total on this year's spring cleaning, with nearly two in 10 (18 percent) Americans saying they will spend less than one hour or no time at all. In fact, almost three in four (74 percent) can name at least one less-than-enjoyable task they would rather do than this annual rite; 8 percent of these people would prefer 48 hours of sleep deprivation and an amazing 9 percent would even endure the physical pain of a root canal rather than do spring cleaning.

The national consumer survey, conducted by Kelton for Stanley Steemer, the nation's largest deep cleaning service, revealed that more than one in four (27 percent) Americans who have done 'spring cleaning' procrastinate to the point where their annual cleaning actually happens well past the traditional March through May window and runs into summer, fall and even winter. The survey also reveals that almost two-thirds (62 percent) of Americans only clean their home when it is noticeably dirty, instead of using a set cleaning schedule or have the primary goal of improving the health of their home.

The survey also showed that despite their best efforts, or perhaps due in part to the fact that they admittedly could be spending more time cleaning, more than half (55 percent) of Americans feel that they are never able to truly vanquish dirt or germs. However, most still rely on their own home cleaning skills while less than one in five (19 percent) report having ever turned to a professional cleaning service.

Those who have enlisted a professional cleaning service are more interested in making their home healthier (49 percent vs. 41 percent) which, as it turns out, is good thinking in preparation for this spring. Allergy experts across the country are predicting that spring of 2012 could be the worst allergy season in 10 years due to a relatively mild winter; impacting what the CDC is estimating at more than 50 million people in the U.S. that suffer from allergies.

The Stanley Steemer Spring Cleaning survey also showed additional insights related to dirt and spring cleaning:

Younger Americans are the more likely they are to clean to help eliminate stress; 18-34 year olds in particular are most likely to clean for this reason (34 percent vs. 23 percent among those 35 and older). 

Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans have found cash when cleaning and more than one in four (27 percent) have found lost jewelry. People with children are more likely than those without children to find money while cleaning (55 percent vs. 43 percent).

The cleanliness of the house in which Americans grew up does not predict their future homes' cleanliness–in fact…three in five (60 percent) of those who grew up in households cleaned less than half the time believe that their current home is cleaner or much cleaner than the one in which they grew up.

Those in the South anticipate spending the most time cleaning this spring (12.5 hours mean vs. 8.5 hours in the Northeast, 8.0 hours in the Midwest, and 10.5 hours in the West). Those in the Midwest and West are most likely to spend less than one hour spring cleaning this year (14 percent in Midwest and 13 percent in West vs. 7 percent in Northeast and South, respectively).

Seventy-nine percent of Americans describe the home they grew up in as clean or extremely clean, but only 36 percent feel that their current home is cleaner or much cleaner than the home in which they grew up. Sixty-nine percent say they get their personal home cleaning habits from their mothers and only 6 percent from dads.

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