Why Dusting is Overrated – The Happy Geranium

Dusting is Overrated by Debbie Scales (The Happy Geranium) guest post on Look Up Sometimes (Pearl Allard)

Hello friends, awhile back I about died laughing in the car rider line. I was reading a blog post on The Happy Geranium by Debbie Scales. Laughing burns calories, right? And it’s definitely heart medicine.

Debbie and I first met through the Jerry Jenkins writers guild and have been online friends for over a year and a half. I requested permission to share her post, originally titled From Dust to Dust, with you. Who doesn’t need a dose of happy? (And maybe an excuse not to dust…)


One of the main reasons I hate housework is I am never finished with it. If I empty the clothes hampers, wash, dry, fold, hang up, or otherwise put away every item, I am at the same time wearing clothes and thus creating more laundry. The dishes I washed this morning will need to be washed again this evening. Floors swept today will need to be swept again tomorrow.

Dusting is the worst. In fact, dusting is the ultimate effort in futility. Even if all the dust in a house could be magically sucked out, within less than a minute more dust would appear to take its place.

Dan never mentions the dust in our house, so it apparently doesn’t bother him. The grandkids don’t give a hoot about it. In fact, they enjoy writing their names in it. We have few guests, and those who do visit don’t appear interested in dust. So I am the only one who is bothered by it.

Following this line of reasoning, I sometimes think I should stop fighting an unwinnable war. So I wave a dusty white flag in the air, declare dust the winner, and vow never to dust again.

But, the resolve never to dust again usually lasts about one day. The next day I declare outright war on it. I pull out the big guns: two vacuums, various brooms, dust mops, dust rags, window cleaner, furniture polish, long-handled spider web destroyers, Febreze, and every Swiffer product on the market.

I start and finish in the master bedroom. I don’t mean I start in that room and move through the whole house until I reach that bedroom again. I mean I start in that room and never move to another one.

I take everything off tabletops and dressers, take down the curtains, strip the bed, remove all wall hangings, pull every loose item out of the closet, disassemble lamps, pull heavy furniture away from the walls, collect all dried and silk flowers for dusting, and open the windows and remove the screens for cleaning.

By the time I get everything ready to be dusted, I’m too tired to lift a dust rag.

Frustration overwhelms me. If I resisted dusting a tidy room, what made me think I would want to dust one that was in complete disarray and barely navigable?

I sweep the books, lamps, flower arrangements, wall hangings, and window screens off the bed onto the floor. I lie down on the bare mattress and cover myself with a window curtain.

Dan usually comes home to find me there curled up in the fetal position. It doesn’t take him long to figure out what happened.

He gently awakens me, gets me to a sitting position, and asks, “You decided to dust again?”

I nod.

“It’s okay,” he says, “We’ll go get something to eat, just as soon as I return the ladders, the air compressor, the tool chest, and the appliance dolly to the garage.”

I drag myself off the bed and say, “But we can’t possibly sleep in here tonight.”

“That’s all right,” he says. “We can sleep in the spare bedroom.”

“I don’t know,” I say. “It’s awfully dusty in there.”


After devoting years to working and childrearing, Debbie now spends her time indulging not only her grandchildren but also her passion for writing. Her articles, poems, and devotionals have appeared in various Christian publications (Christian Woman and Power for Today). Debbie is a member of Heartland Christian Writers. She lives with her husband Dan in Central Indiana. You can visit her website at www.thehappygeranium.com.

9 thoughts on “Why Dusting is Overrated – The Happy Geranium

  1. My cat jumped up on the bed earlier this week with dust all over his face and neck. All I could say was where have you been that I can’t get to with the dust rag — LOL.
    House cleaning has become a lot less important since I’ve had to deal with chronic illness. I can either use the limited energy I have to clean the house or enjoy life. In the next life there is no dust, no dirt and I won’t be judged on how clean or dirty my house is so I choose to enjoy life and live it as abundantly as each individual day will allow. I still try to have a neat and clean house (environment has always been important to me) but it’s not as critical to me as it used to be. So, friends, family…bring your white gloves when you come visit and be prepared to find a little something something…

    1. HisDaughter, I’m nodding in agreement and appreciating your struggle to allocate limited energy. I love how you’ve prioritized and haven’t let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can. And still having guests over, on top of all that! Way to mentor the rest of us. 🙂

  2. Lol! Put a big smile on my face. You’ve more ambition than I, Debbie. I usually let dust have the run of our house. The battle is hopeless here. That does remind me, there are some curtains that need taking down. They’d collected a few bugs last I looked at them.

    1. Melissa, you crack me up! I think the stages of life factors in, too. Expectations for when kiddos are around are different, I think. I appreciated Rebekah said something in her YouTube video on the Power of Women that for a season of life sometimes we have to accept that God hasn’t give us beauty (in the form of our choosing) because maybe our task is different (ie – to love on the kids He’s given) and it looks messy for a time. I’m totally paraphrasing and adding to what she said, but that touched me where I needed it! Now, if only we could train our kids to dust… 😉

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