Tagged With chores

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There are a lot of things you shouldn’t be putting in the dishwasher, if you’re lucky enough to have one. That means putting on the gloves and getting to scrubbing, yes, but there’s also a right and wrong way to hand wash most things.

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If you’re like me, you can remember getting a couple of bucks each week as an allowance when you were a kid. You’d use it for an ice cream from the corner store or you’d save it up until you had enough to buy a new book from the mall. Fast-forward to today, and it seems our kids are getting a whole lot more than ice cream and book money, to the tune of a whopping $40 per week on average.

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If you buy a new item of clothing and later discover that it has the dreaded “hand wash only” label on it, you may be tempted to ignore it and pop it in the washer. But the tag is on there for a reason and you really should manually wash the item. How exactly should you wash those delicates? Are you supposed to use soap? How much?

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Want to get your little kid excited about helping out around the house? Give them an official title. I tell you this as the mother of a renowned “orange monitor”, a position I gave my daughter when she was five. Her job was to alert me and her dad when we were running low on oranges, and then at the store, select new oranges and bag them up.

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In my household, the kids’ bathroom is also the guest bathroom. And has always been the dirtiest, because kids. No matter how much I tried to keep it presentable, it wasn’t uncommon for the sink in there to be coated with a multi-layer film of toothpaste, spit and please-don’t-make-me-think-about-it. And we won’t even mention the toilet. Blech.

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With family chores, kids often spend more time protesting and less time doing the actual job. (“It’s Scarlett’s turn to unload the dishwasher!” “No, it’s Willow’s turn!”) A solution: Put Alexa in charge.

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Daniel Pink is the bestselling author of several game-changing books about behaviour, motivation and organisations, including his latest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. So he must have this parenting thing in the bag, right? “I am more than willing to offer up research, tips and hacks to my family — and they are more than happy to dismiss whatever comes out of my mouth,” he jokes.

But we are here to listen. Here, Pink shares a glimpse of his life and what he’s learned about raising children.

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The kitchen is truly the heart of the home, and anyone who's lived with roommates has, shall we say, a more nuanced understanding of that old cliche. Kitchens feed resentment and bitterness just as easily as they produce joy and, unless you and your roommates communicate directly, you're in for a very bad time. Here are some guidelines to help you get off on the right foot.

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Little kids are much like cats — zealous in their simple pursuits. (And they’ll always play in the toilet if given the opportunity, but that’s a different story.) If you’re a parent, why not have their natural tendencies work for the greater good?

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What tears couples apart isn’t always the Big Things. Often, it’s the everyday things, the stuff that you feel like you should be able to brush off, but trying to do so only makes you angrier, and so you brew resentment in silence until one early morning when some unrelated annoyance makes you explode with the words “YOU ALWAYS FORGET TO THROW AWAY THE PACKAGING AND WHY DO I HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOU, I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER!”

Um, anyone else been there?

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When I read the statistic from a University of Maryland study that children between the ages of six and twelve spend only 24 minutes a day doing housework, a 25 per cent decline from 1981, my first thought was, "Where the heck are these kids finding 24 minutes?!"

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Your floor is dirty. Your rubbish bin is overflowing. You need to change a light bulb and do the laundry. You're always busy and household errands fall through the cracks. Here's an idea: get drunk.

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I know, chores are chores. But take it from Mary Poppins, the O.G. Supernanny: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun." To save yourself from the drudgery of daily household maintenance, you must find that element.

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At some point, most of us have tried to use a chore chart or wheel, or maybe just a list, to get our partners and housemates and families to do their share of the tasks that keep our homes running. But we also know the sinking feeling of seeing the dishes pile up -- and then rolling up our sleeves to do it ourselves. Well, maybe the reason you're stuck doing all the chores is because you're using one chart. When really, you need two.

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Cooking for yourself after a long day at work can be annoying, but it saves you lots of money. On the other hand, going to a restaurant or getting takeout takes away the stress of having to figure out what to make (and then make it). So which will it be? Well, consider this: a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending money on time-saving services makes you happier. Takeout it is!