Will Your Smartphone Help Manage Your Household?

In life, there are certain stereotypes that just don’t end.  One is that a woman’s place is in the home.

And for working women like me, there is still the expectation in many homes that we are somehow primarily responsible for the cleaning, cooking, taking care of any home needs, etc.

I’ve gone through the feminist feelings that men are ultimately as responsible for household duties as women are, but it doesn’t get through to most women because we are actually raised to believe this is our contribution.  I take pride in having a clean home, one in which my family enjoys living and loving.  I like knowing that I am the caregiver who ensures the kiddos go off to school in clean clothes and eat meals that are rarely processed foods.  Sure the family helps too, but I view it as my role in the home to lead even though I also work outside the home.

Regardless if you are a working woman or man who has household responsibilities, it’s important to understand that there is a need to use organizational skills to make the tasks easier to maintain and not get overwhelmed.  There are not enough hours in the day to keep a spotless house, cook nutritious and delicious meals, spend quality time with family and give 8-12 hours a day at a job.  It’s impossible to do all these things successfully long term unless you determine tasks that can be managed in a non-traditional way.

In the last ten to fifteen years, women have been enlisting the help of personal assistants, house cleaners, dog walkers and the like in order to free up time to spend with family when they are not working.  Now, as iPads and smartphones are becoming more of a staple, there are countless apps and advances in technology to help manage chores that used to be done from home.

Embracing Technology To Manage The Home

  • Appliances that can be started via smartphone are the future.  Spring 2012 will bring  Samsung adding wi-fi options into their appliances.  For example, Samsung’s latest washer/ dryer concept can be started and managed directly from your phone.  LG has a robot vacuum that can be enabled via smartphone.
  • iPhone apps like Chore Hero can help distribute chores among family members so that each person knows what needs to be done.  Apps like HomeSmarts can help you manage all the things that need to take place in your household.
  • Use GroceryPal app on Android to track and manage all grocery needs. iPhone and iPad have similar applications.

What methods do you use to help manage your household?  As a working woman, do you feel obligated to take on the lion’s share of the household responsibilities?

About the Author

Trisha McFarlane

Trish McFarlane is the Director of HR for Perficient, an IT management consulting firm. With 15 years of experience in Human Resources, Trish is a sought after speaker on human resources and social media and co-founder of HRevolution. She's also a working mother of 8-year-old twins who keep her busy when she's not in the trenches of HR. Trisha blogs at HRRingleader. You can connect with Trisha on Twitter as @TrishMcFarlane and on LinkedIn.


Andrea Ballard

The iPhone app I use the most to manage things is called Paperless. It lets me keep separate lists, add individual items from each list, and check things off. I have lists for To-Do that I use for errands, then lists for specific stores (Costco, Trader Joe’s, regular grocery) and also lists for things like the library and movies I want to see. That way whenever I’m at a particular place, I have a list of things I usually get at that place.
I don’t feel at all obligated to take on the lion’s share of housework. I have the unusual (lucky) situation of having a super-clean husband who has higher standards than I do 🙂


I think you are greatly overrating the benefits of smartphones. An app to distribute chores among family members. Really ? aren’t we going a little overboard with that ? whatever happened to enjoying the little things in life. Is there an app that can make my life more fulfilling ?

Online Bank

Smartphones are amazing! I never thought it could help relieve stress in my life but it really has. I use a grocery app that lets me scan bar codes and adds the item name to a list. One that I can also share with my husband via mobile and know he cant possibly mess that one up! Mobile banking has saved me on a number of occasions. I’m able to take a quick look at my account and transfer money or make a payment right there on the spot if need be. Although I don’t have a fancy washer or vacuum that I can start before I enter the house I do have a recipe app that keeps us eating a variety of healthy meals even after a long day at the office. And the best part, two kids to load the dishwasher because I made dinner!


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