Should You Do Less Housework?

Author Quentin Crisp once said, “There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.” I hesitate to emphasize that much laziness, but one thing is clear: a little dirt and dust aren’t going to hurt you. In fact, they’ve got benefits.

Let’s start with dirt. We all know that dirt is a vital natural resource. We’ve walked on it and ate food grown in it for millions of years. Recently, the scientific community we’ve learned that playing in the dirt makes people happier and their immune systems’ stronger, thanks to safe bacteria that are only found in soil. Sounds like a good excuse to do some gardening.

And then there’s dust. Piling up on rarely-used furniture, artwork, windows … the list goes on and on. But when did dust become a sin? Perfectionism and the concept of “cleanliness is next to Godliness” have permeated our culture. Instead of spending time with friends and family, we fret over how our homes look and every last speck of dust.

I say: what a waste of time! Lisa Quinn, author of Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets, agrees: “What if manic moms stopped obsessing about the unnecessary? What if we put down the glue gun and got back to our real lives? Why, it’d be a revolution.” Mom, dad, single, married – doesn’t matter. There’s a fine line between being tidy and being horrified by a spec of dirt.

If you happen to be a bit of a cleaning freak, this is a great chance for you to put down that rag, step away from the counter, and do something fun. Your immune system could use some practice … and what about all those funky chemicals in traditional cleansers? There is no clean police; no one knocking at your door, ready to administer the white glove test.

Life is short – I hope you don’t want to spend it on your hands and knees, scrubbing a barely-dirty floor. Come, join me outside. The dirt is divine.

You Tell Us!

  • What’s the first thing you’d rather do than clean?
  • If you could only clean one thing in your whole home, what would it be?

By Victoria Klein, Ode Magazine


Lepidopter Phoenyx

I have a small house and lots of pets. The litter boxes get scooped out several times a day to keep the dogs from snacking on the contents and to keep the house from smelling like a public urinal. The floors get swept every other day or so, or else I have enough hair on them to make another pet. Dishes get washed when the dishwasher is full. I do laundry once a week. Dust is a noun, not a verb. It gets removed once a week.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra3 years ago

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

Nimue Pendragon

Better to have dust on your furniture than dust on your brain.

Nimue Pendragon

Life is too short to spend all your time on that.

Nimue Pendragon

I only do what I have to :)

Tim C.
Tim C.3 years ago


Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy3 years ago

You asked ....... 1st thing I'd rathed do than

If I could only clean I thing....clothes.

Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy3 years ago

So long as it is presentable and cares.

JL A.3 years ago

valuable perspective

John De Avalon
John De Avalon3 years ago

And most of these cleaning products are decidedly environmentally unfriendly.