How To!

How To Tame a Chaotic Household

To tidy up a messy home, focus on the family first.


Episode Notes

Sarah feels like she’s drowning in the clutter of her tiny Brooklyn apartment where she lives with a messy husband and two-year-old daughter. Now that her family is self-quarantining together, the chaos seems destined to only get worse. In this episode of How To!, we bring in Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families, to give Sarah a home makeover. But Bruce has more than a Marie Kondo-style cleanup in mind. Instead, he suggests that Sarah first declutter her mind and then call a family meeting to reorganize responsibilities.

What are your toughest challenges during the pandemic? And what have you found is working for you? Leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. We’re collecting your problems and solutions for our recurring Quarantine Q&A.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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