How Long Do People Spend Cleaning Their Homes? And What Is the Cost?

See how much time people spend cleaning their homes nationwide and by state. Use our calculator to find out how much your unpaid housework is worth.

Returning from work to a messy home is something few of us relish or enjoy, often requiring us to spend valuable personal time cleaning up and doing additional “unpaid work” at home.

To understand just how long Americans spend cleaning their home, we analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Wage and Time Use Survey (TUS) data, to reveal just how long people spend on housework each day and per year. We also broke down the difference between men and women, and the financial value of this unpaid cleaning work.


Key findings

Calculate how much unpaid housework you are doing

Time spent on housework per state

Difference between housework duration for men and women

States with best and worst housework equality

Are attitudes towards housework changing?

How to reclaim time spent doing housework



Key Findings

  • The typical adult in the U.S. spends 34 minutes per day doing housework, with women doing over two and a half times the amount of housework than men.
  • Women spend an average of 49 minutes per day doing household chores, while, men spend an average of just 19 minutes per day doing housework.
  • Annually, women do $6,431 more hours of housework than men, while men do $3,909 hours of housework per year women do $10,341 hours of household chores.
  • Alaskans spend the most time doing housework of any state, spending an average of 50 minutes per day on housework and chores.
  • Residents of Washington D.C. spend the least amount of time on household chores, spending an average of just 23 minutes per day on housework.
  • New Mexicans have the greatest equality between men and women doing housework, while Alaskans have the greatest difference between time spent.

Calculate how much unpaid housework you are doing

How much time do people spend on housework in each state?

Analyzing the latest releases of the BLS Time Use Survey Data (TUS), we were able to reveal that the average adult in 2022 spent 34 minutes per day on housework. Annually, this comes out to the equivalent of 8.7 days and a monetary value of $7,188 based on the average hourly wage in the U.S. ($34.55 per hour).

While over 8 and a half days might seem like a lot, our analysis showed that adults in Alaska spend over 12.6 days cleaning their homes.

Average Time Spent On Housework Per State

*Average time spent sourced from American Time Use Survey Data. Annual figures were calculated by multiplying the daily average by 365. Days spent per year were calculated by dividing the annual figures by 24.

As the chart shows, those living in Washington D.C. spent an average of just 23 minutes per day cleaning their home, spending just 142.4 hours (5.9 days) doing housework each year - less than half the amount of time reportedly spent by those in Alaska during the Time Use Survey period.

Based on the latest BLS wage data ($34.55 per hour), Alaskans spend $28.68 worth of time cleaning their home each day, adding up to $10,466 worth of time over a year. In comparison, those in Washington D.C. spend just $13.47 worth of time cleaning their home per day, and just $4,918 over a year.

Value of average time spent cleaning

*Figures based on daily hours multiplied by average hourly earnings ($34.55). Annual figure calculated by multiplying daily figure by 365.

How does time spent on housework differ between men and women?

National data releases of the 2022 Time Use Survey (TUS) found that the average adult in the U.S. spent 34 minutes on housework per day. However, this figure isn’t evenly shared between men and women.

Our analysis of the TUS data found that men spend an average of just 19 minutes per day doing housework while women spend 49 minutes on housework daily. Over a year, women spend a total of 12.5 days (299.3 hours) doing housework and chores, while men spend an average of just 4.71 days (113.2 hours). That is a difference of nearly 8 days! 

Using the national average wage ($34.55), it can be said that adults in the U.S. spend an average of ​​$7,188 worth of hours doing housework per year. However, when we take into account the gender difference in time spent on housework by men and women, women’s longer cleaning times would be $6,431 greater than men. 

While the typical woman in the U.S. does $10,341 hours worth of housework, the typical man performs just $3,909 worth of time doing chores around the house. 

Average time spent on housework by men and women

Which states have the best and worst equality when it comes to housework?

On a national level, the equality of sharing housework and time spent on housework is clearly divided. However, our analysis shows that, while no state has complete parity between men and women, some states are more equally split than others. 

Analysis of the 2015-2019 data samples shows that women in Alaska do 1.38 hours (83 minutes) per day more housework than their male counterparts. Rhode Island was the only other state to have a gender gap of 1 hour or more (79 minutes).

In comparison, the difference between the time spent on housework in New Mexico is just 16 minutes per day, the lowest of all the areas analyzed. The second and third most “equal” areas for housework were Louisiana (18 minutes) and the District of Columbia (19 minutes).

Average cleaning time spent by men and women by state

Women in Alaska do 83 minutes more per day of housework and chores than men in the state, spending 91 minutes total of their day doing housework. In comparison, men in the state of Alaska spend an average of just 8 minutes per day on housework.

Using the average wage of $34.55 per hour, women in Alaska contribute $17,402 hours of housework, or $47.68 per day.

While no state has complete parity between men and women when it comes to the time spent on housework, New Mexico had a difference of only 16 minutes. As a monetary figure, this means that women in New Mexico annually contribute $3,405 more hours than men doing housework using the average wage in the U.S.  

Value of time difference between men and women

*Figures calculated using state-level TUS data. Monetary values were calculated using the BLS average hourly wage data ($34.55).

Are attitudes towards housework changing?

Analyzing national annual results, it was revealed that the disparity between the time spent by men and women on housework had reduced by over 31%, from 44 minutes per day in 2003 to 31 minutes per day in 2022.

In 2003, TUS data showed that women spent 58 minutes per day cleaning, compared to just 14 minutes per day for men in the same year. By 2022, these figures had changed to 49 minutes per day for women and 19 minutes per day for men.

Average time spent on housework and chores since 2003

*2020 data not available

How can you reclaim your time spent doing housework?

There are several ways you can speed up or cut down on the time you need to spend cleaning your home, from multitasking to using storage boxes, our resident cleaning expert Aaron Christensen has shared these tips to help make cleaning your home more time efficient.

Collect the clutter 

Assign and use storage boxes/hampers for every person in the house. This makes sure that the clutter people leave has just one home, and doesn’t fill up other areas of the home. To avoid the “boxes” overspilling or using multiple, set a rule that once the storage is full the person must clean and organize their things by keeping, donating, or throwing them out.

Try quick daily pick-ups

At the end of the day (or whenever you notice it), spend several minutes picking up the loose clutter on countertops, on floors, or generally just spread out. If you’re using the clutter collector tip, put people’s things in boxes to keep their stuff in one place and reinforce the rule that people need to keep or clear their things.

Multitask your chores

Some chores can be done at the same time. For instance, while you’re soaking or letting pans soak in the sink, use the time to quickly disinfect and clean your kitchen countertops. Similarly, while letting bleach sit and clean in the toilet bowl, you can use the minutes to wipe down the surface of the toilet.

Have your cleaning supplies ready

A great time saver is having your cleaning supplies ready by storing them in organized totes, bags, and boxes. By keeping cleaning supplies organized you save time looking for what you might need and help you focus on the room(s) you intend on cleaning that day/time.

Focus on where there is the most foot traffic

The areas of the home with the most footfall are the ones that need to be cleaned the most often, with certain rooms and surfaces less used than others. To help with this, consider which rooms in your home you and your family use most frequently and focus on weekly or daily cleaning them, and leave the low “footfall” rooms for a monthly clean.

Create and stick to a system when cleaning each room

Having a routine and set way of cleaning can help shave time by focusing your mind and avoiding distractions. Many cleaning experts use a system that sees them start each room to the left of the doorway, at the top, before moving clockwise and down. 

Use extension cords

Save time on needing to plug and unplug vacuum cleaners and other electrical devices by using extension cords to allow you to clean more than one room at a time, and reduce the chances of being distracted while moving between rooms.

Get a professional in

Save even more time and get an expert to come in and clean your home while you go about your day, allowing you to spend more time with friends and family.

Homeaglow can get started with your first home clean for just $19 or check out how we compare to others.


We analyzed American Time Use Survey (TUS) data, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to reveal the average time spent on housework across the U.S. and how these periods vary between states, and men and women.

Our analysis used the latest 2015-2019 combined data set to analyze the state (and Washington D.C.) level data, while additional national data sets were analyzed to reveal the 2003 to 2022 changes in behaviors.

To reveal the cost of housework, we used the January 2024 release of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average hour wage data ($34.55). This data was then multiplied by the average time spent per day and multiplied by 365 to reveal the annual “cost” of housework.

While the majority of states and years did have average data available, some did not and were omitted from this study. Minutes were rounded to the closest round number, while hours and days were rounded to the nearest 1 decimal place.


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