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14 Household Rules You’re Probably Guilty of Breaking

Does your partner always pass the dishwashing task to you? Do your kids always leave their toys all over the place? Do you constantly find empty packages left in the fridge? You’re not alone on this boat. The rest of America is dealing with the same annoying issues.

As a matter of fact, as per a study conducted by HomeAdvisor, there are certain household rules that most Americans break on a regular basis, including rules regarding pets. According to the study, the rule that is ignored the most refers to putting items back where they belong. Read on to find out what’s also on the list of house rules you’re probably not following.

Photo by Maridav on Shutterstock

Remove shoes at the door

The rules start at the very front door with removing the shoes when entering the house. According to health experts, this should not only be considered a house rule but a health one as well, given that shoes are covered in dirt, bacteria and gross stuff (aka dog poop). You don’t want any of that spread all over your home, do you?

To prevent bacteria and germs from invading every room you walk in, as well as unappealing shoe pile-ups, every family member should put their footwear in their designated place. When it comes to asking guests to take their shoes off, well that’s a debate for another time…

Take the bins out

Some might say this is one of the worst rules on the list. After all, who likes to deal with nasty trash? Until AI robots will take over this task, here’s what you can do. To prevent any unwanted arguments between family members, the household chore of taking the bins out should be assigned by rotation. That way, no one will feel disadvantaged.

No fiddling with the thermostat

Ah, the never-ending debate about how cold or how hot the house should be! In the case of smart home, the rule is simple: whoever controls the home app, controls the thermostat as well. For the rest of us, living in not-so-smart homes, the battle is real. One person turns the thermostat up, another one turns the heat down and so on. But more heat means higher bills to pay.

To avoid a continuous debate over the thermostat, you should try agreeing on a temperature that is comfortable for everyone in the house (more or less) and prevent you from breaking the thermostat rule.

Put liners in the bin

After you’ve picked the short straw and it is your turn to take the trash out, don’t think your job is over, as many people mistakenly believe. You also need to put a new liner in the bin. Only then is your job done.

Unfortunately, many people take the trash out without adding new liners. To make future jobs easier and less off-putting in terms of smell, put some cotton pads infused with essential oils at the bottom of the bin. This way, when you empty the trash and put a new liner, the whole thing won’t smell as bad.

Do your dishes

Leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen sink is not only one of the most common things people do, but it can also turn into a health hazard. Food leftovers can attract all sorts of unwanted visitors, not to mention unwelcome smells.

Make it one of the most important household rules to clean the kitchen, which includes doing the dishes, before going to bed. Even if you own a dishwasher, there may be times when you’ll still need to do some washing up. So, if you’re among those who have been ignoring this house rule, it’s time to switch teams.

Putting back items where they belong

One of the household rules that most Americans admitted to breaking is not putting back items where they belong. If you have such specimens in your household, it’s time for some home training. After all, it’s not that difficult to put things in their rightful place, back on the shelves, in the cabinet, or in the storage place where you initially found them.

Turn off the TV

Energy-saving discounts or credits should be awarded to people who turn off their TVs when nobody’s watching. Not to mention those who also put the remote control back where it was, so that everyone in the house can easily find it next time they want to turn on the TV. Do you think this is possible in your household?

Empty the vacuum cleaner

This rule might seem extra for many people, maybe that’s why so many ignore it, but it is extremely useful for the person planning to use the vacuum cleaner. If you were the last person vacuuming, empty the vacuum cleaner as well, so that your job can be considered complete. It’s not only fair and square but also hygienic, as you are not allowing dust, hair and skin particles to remain in the vacuum cleaner longer than necessary.

Keep feet off the furniture

Even if your shoes are removed at the front door and you’re wearing home slippers, or even go barefoot, putting your feet on the furniture should be a no-go. It is rude, disrespectful and even gross to have your feet touching the furniture. Not to mention they are probably not 100% clean as they touch the floor first. See also:How to Keep Your White Furniture White

No food in the living room

What is your approach to food at home? Is your household rule to eat only in the kitchen and dining room? Or are you allowing small snacks in the living room or bedroom as well? Many Americans eat wherever they can, making crumbs and spills all over the house.

To avoid that, set some clear rules. If you don’t want to be that strict, at least use dinner trays or TV tables to avoid staining your sofa or bedsheets.

Photo by Krasula on Shutterstock

Wash your hands

According to a survey performed by Currys, homeowners included washing their hands on the list of strict rules. Maybe because of the pandemic. In reality, some people still neglect to wash their hands when arriving home. To make sure your family members do not disregard this rule, it wouldn’t hurt to remind them every once in a while, about the importance of washing their hands, even more so during cold and flu season.

Replace toilet paper

How many times have you forgotten to replace the toilet paper? Or needed it the most only to find an empty roll there?

Replacing toilet paper is a very overlooked endeavor, but it should definitely become a vital household rule. To prevent unpleasant situations in the bathroom, make sure you are properly supplied with enough toilet paper. Equally important, store it close to the toilet, so that disasters of any kind can be successfully averted.

Check out:Experts Say You’re Not Cleaning These 12 Areas in Your Bathroom

Flush the toilet

Speaking of toilet-related issues, flushing after you use the toilet should not even be considered a rule, but something as normal as breathing. However, some forget to do it, children in particular. Make it a strict household rule, not only for hygiene reasons (as if that’s not enough) but also because it can damage the toilet itself. The urine-hard water combination leads to mineral deposits that are very difficult to get rid of.

Another important aspect related to toilet hygiene is closing the lid while flushing. As explained by the American Journal of Infection Control, flushing can spread infectious bacteria and damaging aerosols all over the bathroom, including your toothbrush. Yikes!

Read also:8 Effective Ways to Make the Most of a Small Bathroom

No human food to pets

We are a nation of animal lovers and most pet owners would do anything for the happiness of their furry friends. Including giving them the same food that they are eating. While your pet might appreciate the gesture, in the long term it will only cause more harm than good. That’s because animals require other types of food than what people consume: animal food created specifically for them, with the right amount of proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.

According to a study released in 2021, “25 percent of households with pets break their no human food rule, and nearly 20 percent break the no pets on the couch rule.”

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