The modern family doesn’t seem to have many cleaning icons to aspire to from the TV. I very much doubt any of us look at Kim woodburn and think I want to be like her rather than Kim Kardashian. On Big brother cleaning appears to be a point of conflict from those that do it constantly portrayed as dull and boring while those that never do it being cast as slobs and dirty and creating the inevitable arguments.
The latest cleaners seem to be trending on Instagram and are rapidly hitting our book shelves. I am currently reading Marie Kondo – ‘The life changing magic of decluttering’ and I must say it is teaching me plenty. She is personable and attainable much like Mrs Hinch who films herself cleaning her own beautiful home. While I personally am not keen on Mrs Hinch naming her products like pets I can see that people love her clear enthusiasm and she is not just real but inspiring. More to the point her house and methods are cheap, easy and attainable for the everyone. Despite my reservations I can see that those ‘cleaning pets’ become like familiar members of the family.
A point that Marie Kondo strongly makes is that folded clothes do not crease and take up significantly less space than hung clothes. Despite this clear and obvious advantage most people have no idea how to fold and once taught it is a skill that they enjoy and use for the rest of their lives. She explains that nobody teaches children how to tidy and this applies to cleaning too. How many parents take the time to really explain the application of each chemical or the science behind why we clean the way we do. Children are expected to learn by watching parents who often have no idea themselves and my children barely watch even when in the room.
Skills that many people do not acquire is how to change a duvet easily, how to clean a bathroom without bleach, how to clean glass perfectly. A lot of education outside school comes from watching TV which can be extremely skewed. For example, the Toilet duck advert shows the toilet bowl completely swamped in green toilet gel covering every surface. This is literally tipping chemicals down the toilet and you could clean about 6 toilets with the whole bottle this way, this is fantastic for the manufacturer but terrible for our eco system and consumers pocket. Even the instructions on the back do not recommend this quantity yet we all watch the advert and copy what we see.
Having investigated the domestic cleaning training market there are a couple of courses in the UK but mainly aimed at cleaners so unless home owners actively buy books and magazines to somehow put all the learning and tips together themselves, there is few practical ways of learning. The rise of real people sharing what they do on social media is allowing a new generation a whole new way of accessing cleaning training and we hope this continues. I may have to get on board with the #HinchArmy