What’s the most broken house rule?

Published 9:35 am Thursday, December 29, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
From “no dirty dishes left in the sink” to “no eating in front of the TV,” many American households run smoothly by following a common set of rules. Whether you live in a household with children and pets or an apartment shared with roommates, your home can likely benefit from standards like a chore chart and a few ground rules.
To find out which house rules are the most common and which are the most broken across the United States, HomeAdvisor surveyed 2,200 Americans on their household rules.
• The most common house rules are putting items back in place (88%) and sharing household chores (81%).
• House rules are broken at least daily in one in three households.
• 1/4 of American households with pets break the rule of no human food.
Though house rules can provide structure and responsibility, people clearly feel at home breaking the rules. In fact, according to our results, breaking the rules is all too common. Of our survey respondents, someone in one in three households breaks a house rule at least daily.
North Carolina is the most naughty state surveyed when it comes to breaking house rules, where 46% of households disregard a rule at least daily. Other top contenders include Alabama (44%), Michigan (43%), and Oklahoma (43)%. According to survey respondents, the most-likely culprits of rule breaking are dads and brothers. On the flip side, some of the most rule-following states surveyed include Nevada (24%) and Massachusetts (30%).
But which house rules are folks breaking? We polled respondents on the most-broken house rules overall, and this is what they reported:
  1. Put things back where you found them
  2. No interrupting
  3. Keep your room clean
  4. No eating in front of the TV
  5. Turn off the lights when you leave the room
  6. Make your bed
  7. Clear your dish when you’re finished eating
  8. Knock before entering rooms
Wondering how your state compares to others when it comes to following house rules? Based on our survey results, the majority of the country has trouble putting things back where they belong. People living in states like Georgia and Washington have difficulty keeping their rooms clean, while folks in states like Utah and Wisconsin continuously break the rule of not eating in front of the television.
Naturally, many facets of a house require upkeep. That’s why dividing chores and setting clear rules for accomplishing tasks can help everyone live in a happy, tidy home. So, what are the most popular house rules that Americans set to keep their homes in order?
Overall, the top 10 most common house rules in the U.S. are as follows:
  1. Put items back in place: 88% of households
  2. Share household chores: 81% of households
  3. Keep room clean: 80% of households
  4. Turn off lights leaving the room: 76% of households
  5. Clear dish after eating: 76% of households
  6. Turn off the TV when not watching: 75% of households
  7. No climbing on furniture: 65% of households
  8. Knock before entering rooms: 54% of households
  9. No interrupting: 50% of households
  10. Help set and clear the table: 47% of households
In some cases, the most common house rules overlap with the most broken. While the majority of American households prioritize a tidy home where every item is in its place, more specific rules, such as not eating in front of the television or making your bed, fall away from the map.
Additionally, even though 77% of respondents reported that implementing house rules causes less conflict, 25% of respondents believe that these rules only increase household conflict.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox