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Chores aren't getting done.  The dog hasn't been walked in days and your washing dishes needed right before every meal.  Ever feel like you're overloaded, overworked and just plain over it?

When you live in a chaotic environment, you begin to act chaotic. The kids are wilder, the dog is crazier and your patience gets thinner. We have some easy tips to getting your life back on track.  We know it's more than just the dishes and the dog.  Your home is your haven, your one place you should be able to relax, plan and think.  When the stress overtakes those benefits it's time to get it back under control. 

What are the best tips to reclaim control of your home?

1. Take back control incrementally. 

Don't try to revamp the household in a week.  Instead, grab a pen and paper and jot down some problem areas (worst to least) and a timeline to resolve each one.

2. Get your kids attention regarding chores.

Let them know you will be implementing a new chore list specific to each child.  They will have a new chore added each week, maxing out on the number of chores you feel your child will be able to handle on a regular basis.  Consider their current study obligations, extra curriculars and work outside the home.  Also, keep their chores consistent.  Kids are creatures of habit.  Switching their chores from week-to-week will not allow them to get acclimated to their new responsibilities.

3. Remind your whole family that your pets are family pets.

Each person needs to complete his/her obligation caring for the family pets.  In order to get your kids actively involved in pet time, initiate a family walk in the evenings with your pet.  You can also take your pet to a local dog park, dog training or just play fetch in the backyard.  Kids lose interest in toys, games and pets easily.  They forget their pet is a living thing that has feelings and needs care.  Rebuild your child's interest in their family pet and soon you will find your child and pet are besties once again.

4. Make dinner time, family time.

Some of the best ways to build a relationship with your kids is to incorporate them into family meal planning and preparation.  Each child could help plan a meal (preferably for the following week), to give you time to get the items needed for the meal.  It gives you and your child a chance to talk and chat while preparing something together.  This is a great team building exercise that works great at just about any relationship level.  So get some aprons and kid safe preparation utensils.  Make sure your child is supervised and chooses foods that do not require frying or other non kid-friendly preparation requirements.  

5.  Don't let go of your time with your children

It's easy to let the chaos that has overtaken your life get between you and your kids.  Continue to make your family time a priority.   Take the time to help your kids with their homework, pick next years classes or prepare for extracurriculars.  Have fun and make sure the kids have fun too!  Take them to parks, play games and talk to them about what's happening at school, with their friends or in their imagination.  Just don't over plan or promise things you aren't sure you have the time to do.   Show them they are the most important people in your world and they will feel like they are the most important people in the world.

Don't try to keep things perfect at home.  If something doesn't get done around the house, it doesn't get done.  Effective prioritization and organiztion is key when managing more than is always possible.  So, if it comes down to vacuuming or dishes, do the dishes since not having clean dishes for the next meal causes disruptions, vacuuming doesn't.  If it comes down to cleaning the bathrooms or doing a load of laundry, do the laundry.  Your family will survive a messy home, but the things that drive the household and family progress should be priority one.


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