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Home Management 101

By Debbie Williams

As a professional organizer, I often hear parents' frustrations about time management or being disorganized. Most of us are so busy working, commuting, and carpooling that we just can't find a way to fit everything into a twenty four hour period. With a bit of help, you can find ways to manage your home and spend more time with your family.

* Enlist Help- Delegate jobs to other family members. You don't have to do it all yourself.

* Double Duty- Do two or more things at once: fold clothes while talking on the phone, file bills or papers while watching tv, etc.

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* Beat the Clock - Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and have everyone clean up. Competition is a great incentive.

* Block and Tackle - Use 5 or 10 minute time blocks to tackle those big jobs (cleaning closets, attic, basement, kids' rooms). The job will get done eventually, and you will get a sense of accomplishment each time you work on it.

* Ready the Troops- Iron or assemble clothing for an entire week at a time. Make lunches the night before.

* Clear the Decks - Leave a clean house. Make beds and wash dishes before you leave for the day. This keeps you from being overwhelmed when you return.

* Divide and Conquer - Make a "to do list" at the end of each day, prioritizing with Must Do Today, Must Do This Week, Would Like to Do Today, etc. This keeps your tasks in perspective.

We tend to forget that the family unit is just that: a unit working together for a common goal. In this case, your troops can help you establish a workable organizing system. Be only as organized as you need to be. Establish a routine that you know your family will use. If you remember that being organized is an ongoing process, not an end result, together you can manage your household and the time that you spend together.

© Debbie Williams
Debbie Williams is an organizing strategist and parent educator who offers tools and training to help you put your house in order. She is the author of "Put Your House In Order". Learn more at


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