For Wednesday: 10 Tips to Keep Housework from Ruling Your Life


A clean, well-maintained and organized house? Ha! These days, between family commitments and workplace obligations, parents are busier than ever. It’s hard enough to get home by 6 p.m., let alone sift through the day’s mail, get dinner rolling, and spend quality time with the ones we love.


How can we find time to get the essential tasks and chores done each week – and still have a life?


Relax. A parent with a plan can do just about anything. Like get the essential tasks done each week, and still have time to savor your weekends. Or enlisting a family of volunteers.


Part of the secret lies in breaking down big household jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks. The rest of the secret is enlisting everyone in the family to help get it all done. I’ve created time-tested, results-proven ways (in my small family test group, anyway) to get your kids involved while teaching them important life skills at the same time.


Ready to grab back the controls of your hectic home and family life?


I’ve created my website ( to share my tips on making a house a well-run home. I do hope you’ll find the strategies inside help you take back control of your home and your family life.


1. If it isn’t begging for attention, don’t clean it. If dirt and dust aren’t obvious, leave them for later.


2. Make the most of every minute. Find tasks that you can simultaneously.


3. Head off housework. Use a doormat to keep dirt outside; eat only in the kitchen or dining room.


4. Avoid interruptions. Let voicemail take the calls and ignore the text messages until you’ve finished the task at hand.


5. Set realistic standards. If you lack the time to buff your home thoroughly, adjust your expectations.


6. Call in the troops. A family that works together has more time to play together.


7. Keep household germs in check. Make time for bathroom and kitchen disinfecting, if nothing else.


8. Say adieu to allergens. Vacuum frequently and wash bed linens in hot water to remove dust mites.


9. Thin your houseplant collection. If you enjoy indoor greenery but spend too much time maintaining it, choose a few easy-care plants and weed out the rest.


10. Make your home safe. A clutter-free home helps prevent accidents from happening.


By Tara Aronson




About The Author


Tara Aronson is a mom of three, lifestyle expert, and author of “Mrs. Clean Jeans’ Housekeeping with Kids” (Rodale) and “Simplify Your Household” (Reader’s Digest Publishing). Tara most recently shared her tips for family laundering on “The Rachael Ray Show” (February 4, 2009). Tara’s website, offers tips and strategies for simplifying family life, including “Motivating Kids to – Gasp! – Clean” (