Three cheers for just-in-time or walk-by cleaning

The great thing about cleaning as you go along instead of at certain times or on certain days, is that the standards are set by your feelings which are informed by your theories. Because it occurs naturally and automatically you don’t worry in between tidyings. Your mind becomes freed-up to worry about things that are more important to you.

Letting go of policing chores

Chores policing is a common source of misery for the whole family. When you stop doing that, you may be surprised to learn how much your children hated the chores you made them do.

Requiring children to do chores

Parents often believe that their financial support and other services for their children morally obliges the children to provide certain services in return. But there is no justification for that belief. It is just a rationalisation of the traditional status quo between parent and child. The truth is that there is a moral asymmetry between parent and child: in the event of an intractable dispute between them, the parent chose to place the child in the situation that caused the dispute; the child did not choose to place the parent there.

Cleaning the house for visitors

Housework is not intrinsically interesting, but because it is so repetitive and mindless, it allows us to focus on more interesting things, and that is pleasurable and valuable.

How would you like it?

Imagine if your husband denied you dinner because you had not yet completed the chores he had decided you must do before dinner…

The parental ideology of tidiness

Parents are always saying, “It would just be easier to do it myself.” But then they don’t “do it themselves”. They don’t do it themselves because they feel an obligation to instil a moral lesson in their kids, namely, that they should keep things up to a certain standard (usually the parents’ unnegotiated standard).