Kathy Ireland, the supermodel who became “a best friend to working mothers” (Associated Press) has been interviewed by The Housekeeping Channel (HC). Kathy has appeared on the covers of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Sports Illustrated and many other major magazines. She is the author of Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity, and Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that will Change Your Life, as well as three children’s books.
Kathy’s mission as Chief Designer and CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide® (KIWW®) is, “finding solutions for families, especially busy moms.” Kathy balances her responsibilities as a wife, mom and author, while leading the KIWW brand - described by Forbes, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal as a $1.4 billion design empire. Women’s Wear Daily recognized KIWW as America’s 7th most popular brand in its category. House Beautiful called KIWW one of the 25 “Great Furniture Collections” in America. License Global Magazine recognized KIWW as the 23rd Most Powerful Licensed Brand in the world, surpassing Liz Claiborne, Tommy Bahama, and Polo Ralph Lauren.
The Kathy Ireland Interview
In the interview below, Kathy answers questions such as: Where should busy moms start in their quest to simplify housekeeping? How does your new book, Real Solutions for Busy Moms, help with managing and simplifying housekeeping? What lessons can moms teach their kids about life from the example they set in keeping house? And more...
Q: Since your company motto is, “finding solutions for families, especially busy moms” – where should busy moms start in their quest to simplify housekeeping?
Kathy: As moms we need to start by deciding what is realistic for our families. Some people might be shocked at housekeeping tasks that I sometimes neglect in order to accomplish quality time with our kids. Schedules make a big difference. Having key days for laundry, heavy cleaning and dusting really matters. One simple strategy is to assign responsibility to every member of the family who is able to help. Too often moms take on more than we can handle and be happy. Simple steps include making sure everyone in the family is involved in keeping our home clean and organized.
Q: How does your new book, Real Solutions for Busy Moms, help with managing and simplifying housekeeping?
Kathy: This is my 5th book! There is a chapter titled, "Every Home Needs Happiness". That is a powerful belief. When moms commit to managing our homes with happiness, everything gets easier. One technique that is in the book includes clutter busting, since every possession must be cared for by you and your family. Is your home filled with things you no longer want or need? Are you overwhelmed by the common culprit of clutter? Clutter may weigh you down. If you’re not using it … lose it or turn it into something you can use.
Q: What lessons can moms teach their kids about life from the example they set in keeping house?
Kathy: We are always role models for our children and to many people who experience our behavior. We need to be careful that the message we are sending to our kids is the one we want received. We want our homes to be safe, happy, clean and beautiful … the question is, are we able to accomplish these goals and honor our priorities at the same time? One example! Kitchens must be clean. Keeping them that way is a great life lesson for our kids in health and wellness. There are more germs in most kitchens than almost anywhere else! Helping our kids understand the importance of cleanliness is very important. Hopefully, keeping our kitchen clean will lead to a life of good examples for our children. Another example is when our kids have sleepovers, we encourage them to ask their friends for help in making beds and cleaning up the room. Everyone is given the opportunity to participate. On those morning-afters, when the room looks like a war zone, our child who had the sleepover is responsible for putting as much back in place as their age will allow. This helps our kids understand that some friends will help and others may not. In either case, the kids have the responsibility.
Q: How do moms focus on being effective as moms, and avoid being viewed as the “maid”?
Kathy: All moms work or have a career whether we get paid or not. The word Mom means focusing on the needs of our children … it does not mean “maid”. I’m never comfortable with that word. Housekeeping is a term that I understand. Maid is not. Earlier this year, our family took a special trip to Honduras. We all had the privilege of being of service to people who have very few financial resources. As a family, we cleaned houses, we made beds, we brought décor changes by painting and we just felt great joy. Getting to know these wonderful people as we served them was a great blessing. There was housekeeping to be done - bathrooms to clean and more - there were no maids … only friends helping each other.
Q: What suggestions do you have about delegating tasks to other family members?
Kathy: Delegation in housekeeping is an absolute necessity! Moms can have it all and do it all but not all at the same time. We must have help. We need to remember when caring for our families that we are members of the family too!
Q: What areas of housekeeping do you find most challenging?
Kathy: Cleaning the toilet bowl is my least favorite. Still, it has to be done and I do it.
Q: When is it time to call in a professional cleaning or maid service?
Kathy: When and if you can afford it, it is a great and wonderful luxury. If you find that housekeeping is taking over your life … it may be time to consider professional help. If you have physical challenges that make it difficult for you to care for your home, then of course you will need help. Always remember that having anyone care for your home means that that person deserves the greatest respect and appreciation. In my opinion, housekeeping is one of the most demanding and important responsibilities anyone could have. Please treat anyone who is willing to devote themselves to housekeeping with the greatest honor. They deserve it.