Divvying up the Chores: A Minimalist Approach to Housework

Arguments in relationships are unavoidable. Youíre two different people after all, so expecting to agree on everything is unrealistic. Learning to argue productively helps, but an even better approach is to avoid fighting about unnecessary things, like housework.

We all have chores weíre better at or donít mind doing as much. Dividing up the housework with this in mind will go a long way to avoiding those petty Ďalways and neverí arguments that often end up ruining the whole day.

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses

Everyone has strengths and weakness in different areas, so why not use them to your advantage? In our house Iím the better cook, while my partner is an admin whizz. This means weíre always well fed and just as importantly, the bills are paid on time.

Thatís not to say I never do anything admin-related or that she doesnít ever help out in the kitchen. Thereís definitely cross-over, but for the most part weíll stick to the things we each do best.

Figuring Out a Fair Division of Tasks

For us, alternating the daily tasks (washing dishes, doing laundry, etc.) works best. However, you may find that one of you is happy to always cook, while the other is equally content to be on clean-up duty.

However you approach it, the most important thing is to make sure itís fair. We may look like adults, but inside weíre all still six-years-old. If one of you feels like youíre doing more than your fair share then resentment is going to build up.

Create a Housework Roster

Creating a housework roster is the best way weíve found to avoid resentment rearing its ugly head. After all, you canít argue with a spreadsheet. If youíre not sure whose turn it is to mop the kitchen floor, simply stroll over to your roster and take a look.

Trading Chores

Remember how I said weíre all still kids at heart? Try trading chores and youíll know exactly what I mean. When I really donít feel like doing something Iíll ask my partner if we can trade.

Either Iíll do something she doesnít enjoy in return or Iíll pay her back a turn at a later date. It sounds incredibly childish, but I promise you it works. We never argue about housework. Ever.

Get out of Jail Free Card

While itís important to be fair in the division of tasks, itís good to remember that you donít always have to keep score. If Iíve had a really rough day, for example, my partner will offer to take my dishes turn.

Likewise, if one of us is sick, then the other one will shoulder the load until weíre back on our†feet. You donít always have to trade, sometimes you do something just because you love your person.

Learning to Enjoy Housework

The idea that one can actually enjoy housework sounds like a stretch, I know, but stick with me here. For starters, doing household chores provides a variety of health and other benefits, such as lowering stress, boosting happiness and making you more productive.

The Buddhists can also teach us about household chores. The practice of soji encourages one to clean mindfully and bring meditation into daily routine. Rather than rush to finish a task, you immerse yourself in the moment and do the best job you can.

It takes work, but creating a conscious and intentional relationship is definitely worth the effort. By figuring out the Ďdaily grindí stuff, like household chores, youíre free to focus on the fun aspects of being in a relationship. Right, Iím off to do the dishes.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Leanne K
Leanne Kyesterday

You gotta work hard to be lazy...

Leo C
Leo Cyesterday

Thank you for sharing!

Chad Anderson
Chad A1 days ago

Thank you.

One Heart i
One Heart inc2 days ago


Ruth S
Ruth S2 days ago


Leo C
Leo C2 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

Ingrid H
Ingrid H3 days ago

thank you

Mona M
Mona M3 days ago

We both enjoy Housework, and essentially its results of harmony, cleanliness and beauty. Thank you

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 days ago

Thank you

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 days ago

Thank you