When GoodHousekeeping.com asked me to stop doing housework for two weeks, I was terrified. For starters, we're your typical, busy Midwestern family with two teenage sons and two dogs. My husband Alan is a tidy and fastidious civil engineer, and I am the proud owner of a Merry Maids office and the founder of the Don't Look Under the Rug blog. The two of us divide the chores (Alan washes dishes, cooks, and vacuums; while I handle laundry, grocery shopping, and monitoring general clutter) and the boys are expected to pick up after themselves. That said, I do feel I handle more than my fair share of housework after a day at the office.
I don't think my standards are unrealistic. I love things to be clean, but I also enjoy living in my home. We do have a mail pile and a "take it up the stairs" collection. So, eventually, I felt cautiously optimistic about taking a two-week hiatus from housework. My boys are well-behaved, helpful, and only slightly sloth-like when it comes to picking up after themselves — how bad could it be?