Study reveals cleanliness is the most common bugbear when couples move in together

Considering moving in with your other half? Give this a read...

Couple moving in
(Image credit: Getty)

Moving in with your partner is a momentous, albeit utterly terrifying, step in a relationship. It’s a huge deal when you finally decide to cram all of your stuff into one space and agree to wake up to each other's morning breath every single day. There’s no denying that sharing a place can sometimes be difficult and living with other people's habits can cause some, ahem, spats, shall we say...

Tired of wading through dirty laundry to get to the wardrobe? Or sick of explaining that putting a plate by the dishwasher isn’t actually going to miraculously clean it? Well you aren’t alone, according to a recent survey: issues over cleanliness have been proved the most common cause of arguments between partners who move in together. 

The study polled 2,423 over 18 year olds – all participants were asked to state how long they had lived with their partner before the relationship broke down. The most common time period was found to be ‘six months to one year’ (39 per cent), followed by ‘less than six months’ (28 per cent) and ‘one to two years’ (22 per cent). 

Asked what had caused them to argue, each participant was provided with a list of possible responses and told to select the most relevant; the two most common answers were cleanliness issues (21 per cent) and arguing over a home improvement project/interior design (19 per cent). 

When asked what the top bugbears were with regards to cleanliness, respondents stated ‘they left their laundry everywhere’ and ‘they didn’t clean up after themselves’. It was also found that the arguments about home improvement largely stemmed from having completely the opposite tastes.

So what’s the solution? Pick up your socks and only move in with someone who is going to love that mustard yellow sofa as much as you...

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.