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Clutter Video Tip: Household Chores: Who Should Do Them?

Here’s the story of a man named Brady… How did that Brady house stay so neat and tidy (broken lamps aside)? One word… Alice. Now you may ask “How can I get organized when I don’t have an Alice?” Household chores and cleaning checklists aren’t a lot of fun, but they can be manageable even if you don’t have a live-in maid. This video contains strategies of how to be organized and stay organized. Next time someone asks “How clean is your home?” You will know that it is much more than a hunch and that’s the way to keep your house like the Brady Bunch.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today’s Clutter Video Tip is about getting things done around the house.

We always talk about how getting organized is a lot like losing weight, and there are three big components to that equation: prevention, meaning cutting the clutter calories and keeping things from coming into the house in the first place; reduction, meaning reducing the accumulated stuff that you have in the house already; and maintenance, the creation of habits and tasks that help you keep the space organized long-term.

So a lot of people come to us in our on-line program for advice and help with the reduction part of this equation, and we’re really happy to help them to figure out how to organize a closet or a garage and get those organizing projects done. But we don’t want people to forget that prevention and maintenance are equally important.

So today, let’s talk about maintenance just a little bit more. Once you have finished your project, you really have to identify what those tasks and habits are that need to be done to maintain the space, and then you need to add the secret sauce, the other factor, which is ownership. Now, I’ll give you a little story for an example: my husband’s been out of town recently for a few days, and what I notice when he’s gone is that the house stays much cleaner and neater and more organized. And that is not to say that my husband is a slob. Quite the contrary, he is extremely helpful around the house, and I really appreciate him. But the difference is ownership. When he’s not here I take full responsibility and ownership for every task, every little habit that it takes to maintain this house, and it’s all up to me. So, it naturally just happens more efficiently when there’s only one person involved. Now, let’s take that concept and transfer it to everyday real life. Now certainly, you’ve got your kids and everything that you normally do and cooking dinner and carpool and all of that, but when you have some of these tasks that need to be done that maybe you have identified but nobody really owns them, that’s when they don’t get done. So you’ve probably said to each other before, “Well, I thought you were going to do it.” “Well, no, I thought you were supposed to do it.” And that ambiguity is the damaging factor here. So, you want to make sure that somebody has ownership and it’s very, very clear.

What could you do today to clarify that ownership and make somebody accountable for some of the tasks that are left undone in your house? Maybe even making yourself accountable? If you need some help with these kinds of maintenance tasks, we have a great resource for you. In our Member Area, which you can try for free for 14 days, we have a bonus workbook, it’s called the Household Systems and Routines Workbook. I went through and made – for a long time, it took me a long time to write this – a huge list, by category, of all the things that need to be done to maintain an average household and it’s a chart so you can go through and write down the frequency of how often you want to do those certain tasks and then, more importantly, for each one you can identify who owns that task. And it’s a really good exercise to go through to help you make a plan for long-term maintenance. You can find out more about that at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for tips to keep up with organization or how to decide who does what around the house.

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