More than half of 18-24 year olds don’t know how to change a lightbulb


New research has revealed the everyday household chores that young people struggle with, finding that more than half would not know how to change a lightbulb, a quarter are unsure of how to boil an egg and two in three would be unable to successfully iron a shirt. Furthermore, of those who feel they are ‘generally not very competent’ at household chores, the majority blame their parents.

A new study has unveiled the tasks that young people are most fazed by in their homes, with simple DIY chores including changing a lightbulb, replacing a fuse and setting timers on a boiler bewildering the majority of 18-24 year olds. Housework is an equally complicated matter in the eyes of millennials with two thirds unsure of how to iron a shirt, almost half unable to make a bed and one in five struggling to boil an egg.

The research was undertaken by the team at home interior specialist, Hillarys (, as part of ongoing research into the home life of Britons. 2,749 British citizens took part in the survey, all of whom were aged between 18-24 years old and had lived independently for at least six months. There was an even divide of male and female respondents.

Firstly, all respondents were asked ‘How would you describe your abilities when it comes to household chores?’ to which more than a quarter (27%) stated that they believe they are ‘generally not very competent’, compared to 46% who stated that they are ‘generally competent’. A further 17% stated that they are ‘entirely competent’ and one in ten (10%) identified that they are ‘not competent at all’ when it comes to the housework.

When then asked if they are competent at DIY chores around the home, far fewer young people taking part in the survey were confident in their abilities, with just 15% stating that they are competent, outnumbered by the 85% who felt that they are not.

All respondents were then presented with a list of everyday tasks and asked to select all those that they would not know how to do. The following household jobs were revealed as the ten that 18-24 years olds are least able to do around the home:

Replace a fuse - 76%

Set the timer on a boiler - 72%

Iron a shirt - 66%

Defrost a freezer - 59%

Change a lightbulb - 51%

Make a bed - 49%

Put up a shelf - 44%

Remove lint from a tumble dryer - 37%

Clean an oven - 33%

Use washing machine - 19%

Finally, all respondents were asked, “If you feel you are generally or entirely incompetent at DIY and/or household chores, who do you feel is most responsible?” to which the majority (62%) blamed their parents, while just 19% blamed themselves. Further guilty parties, according to the respondents included grandparents (8%), siblings (7%) and the media (5%).

Tanya Irons, spokesperson for, commented on the findings:

“Moving out of the family home and into your own place can be very daunting as it is, let alone if you don’t know how to manage simple tasks like boiling an egg or making your bed in the morning. A lot of these jobs are seen as common sense but clearly, for some, it isn’t the case and they need a little extra help establishing the basics. Learning to look after yourself is part of growing up and if you’re struggling there are lots of YouTube tutorials that can help you master it!”