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Do you secretly love cleaning?

Researchers have found that many women find giving the house a once over a ‘relaxing’, ‘satisfying’ or ‘therapeutic’ experience.

Other women have said that they felt a sense of ‘pleasure’ and ‘achievement’, mainly because they were safe in the knowledge surprise visitors wouldn’t see the house in a mess. But ironically, almost four out of ten of those who love cleaning admitted they would never tell their other half they enjoyed getting to grips with the housework.

Dr Jane McCartney, a chartered psychologist and consultant to Zoflora, said: “There are a growing number of common misconceptions about cleaning, however women can and do get a great deal of satisfaction from cleaning.

”There is the therapeutic routine or sense of control in creating a home environment but also, perhaps, that homes also make a personal statement – cleanliness and choice of fragrance adding to their overall sense of personal pride satisfaction.

”Taking on tasks that you have a realistic chance of completing can provide immediate positive feedback; the undertaking and completion of the task will allow you to have a sense of control.

”The sense of achievement is an important factor in a person’s well-being and cleaning is an area where this achievement can live beyond the actual task itself.”

The study found vacuuming, tidying up and wiping surfaces clean are three household chores women enjoy. Cleaning the oven, the toilet and doing the ironing were the ones they were most likely to hate. Household tasks which required too much time, too much effort or were labelled ‘disgusting’ were most likely to be left to their other half.

But chores that left their house looking noticeably clean were the ones women preferred and enjoyed, like dusting and washing up. Making sure their house smelt clean and fresh was also a priority for women, with more than three quarters admitting they would judge someone with a bad smell in their home, or look at them in a negative light.

Dr. McCartney added:”Not only is it just unpleasant to be near a bad smell, this also stems from our basic evolutionary development too.

”In the past unpleasant smells would signify a danger to survival, in as much as they indicate contamination, illness or even death.”

The study also found the average woman spends just over four hours a week cleaning, with the majority of women cleaning soon after they made a mess, rather than leaving everything until later.

Forty per cent said they did all the cleaning themselves – but most said their partner was equally responsible for the chores.

Incredibly, one in ten of the women love cleaning so much they go as far as to clean other people’s homes because it makes them feel good.

Again, a subject that created a heated debate in the Real Women Today office this afternoon, with a number of us admitting to positively hating cleaning and some who actually did admit to enjoying it.  Which one are you?

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