I have an idea that could help people with two growing problems: the tedium of household chores, and the lack of time to spend with friends/family. I call it the Tidy Tea.
One day a week, a small group of friends plans a traveling tidy-up get-together. They start at one house, tidy up, pause for a short break, then move to the next. During the cleaning the friends get the chance to reconnect, to talk, to enjoy each other’s company. For the break they could have a small healthful snack and a nice cup of tea and just sit back and relish their handiwork.
At the last house, everyone could pitch in and cook dinner, and then more friends/family and spouses could arrive and everyone could eat together. The dinner might only happen once a month rather than every week, but it would be a lot of fun.
The cleaning would need to be limited to certain things: dusting, washing windows, etc. No house should get more effort than another–at least, not consistently. We know emergencies or bad weeks happen, and that would be taken into account, but it wouldn’t be cool for someone to leave their house a horrific mess for their friends to clean up.
Ultimately, having a tidy crew come through each week should inspire each participant to keep everything put in its place instead of lying all over the house, so that the cleaning work would simply be routine maintenance, and not cleaning up someone’s messes.