Study Shares Outrageous Holidays Houseguest Messes

The onset of the holidays means a spike in holiday travelers, with many descending upon the households of family and friends. While it’s no secret that shopping and decorating can create stress for hosts, what about cleaning stress? A survey of U.S. adults commissioned by Bona found that more than half of U.S. adults (51 percent) agreed that given the choice, they might forgo hosting guests around the holidays to avoid extra home cleaning. Others shared startling stories about extreme messes left by guests.

“We all know that the holidays are a time of connection and joy but also a time when household traffic and chaos increase. What this survey revealed were some surprising attitudes and behaviors among Americans when it comes to guests and household cleaning,” said Heather Lindemann, Senior Communications Manager of Bona. “Cleaning doesn’t need to be a big chore. With the right tools and some tips on guest etiquette, holiday visits can be meaningful and uninterrupted by avoidable household mess mishaps like those shared by respondents.”

The 2019 Bona Household Guest Poll conducted by Harris Poll is timely as the busiest time of the year for holiday visitors approaches. A few survey highlights follow:

  • Seventy-six percent of U.S. adults agreed that houseguests appreciate clean accommodations, but often don’t leave them in the same condition when they depart.
  • Millennials young and old—age 23 to 38—are more likely than their older counterparts to agree that it is a better use of money to invest in a cleaning service after houseguests leave rather than before they arrive (54-55 percent of adults ages 18-44, vs. 44-46 percent of adults ages 45+).
  • Eighty-five percent of U.S. adults agreed that following household ‘upkeep’ rules while staying in someone’s home isn’t too much to ask.
  • The first-hand accounts about houseguest messes shared by participants were especially colorful:
    • (A guest) filled the bathtub with water but forgot to turn water off and it flooded my house, damaged the floor and other things.
    • A guest was trying to help me clean, but I had bleach in a cleaning bottle and they didn’t know. They ended up bleaching my floor completely.
    • (My) mother-in-law dropped a frying pan full of hot grease and damaged the floor.
    • My sister trying to do a headstand, spilled oil all over the floor and table leaving the table with permanent stains.

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