Delco woman offers cleaning tips and motivation in new book ‘Dancing with Housework’ – Top Media News

EDGMONT — Few people use the word “homework” in the same sentence as words like “happiness,” “laughter” or “smile.” Colleen Chavolo of Edgemont is one of the chosen few, and she’s on a mission to change homework’s bad rap and change the negative attitude most people have about it.

“Housework is not a dirty word, and talking about it shouldn’t be dry as dust,” new author Chavola shared in a recent interview.

Dancing with the Housework, published on Amazon and a quick read at 46 pages, is a humorous and motivational guide to reshaping people’s mindsets to enjoy not only the tasks required to have a clean house, but also to enjoy from brilliant results. . The book also offers motivational advice and a cleaning plan that can be customized to fit each individual reader’s time and priorities.

“The book should be easy to read and entertaining, and offer helpful ways to clean, and put a smile on the cleaners’ face or a laugh in their mouth,” Ciavola said.

Author Colleen Chavolo demonstrates the joy she derives from using a customized, intentional cleaning plan to tackle her chores each week. She shares her motivational tips in her new book, Dancing with Housework. (PEG DEGRASSA/MediaNews Group)

“Dances with household chores” consists of three parts. First, Chavola describes his own childhood experiences with house cleaning and implanted messages. The second part covers psychological principles that apply to homework, such as acceptance and mindfulness, as well as motivation. Third, Dancing with Housework provides what Chavola calls “the nitty-gritty of the book,” an organizational chart of planning and structure that can be used to make housework the way each person wants to see it.

Chavola was born and raised in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a degree in physical therapy, before beginning her early career as a physical therapist. After getting married and having two children, Chavola enjoyed staying at home until she was 50, when she went back to school. Chavolo received his Master’s Degree in Counseling/Psychology from Immaculata University.

Chavola used her counseling skills and knowledge by going to work at Life Counseling in Paoli and Springfield Psychological in West Chester as a mental health counselor. Now retired, she babysits her only grandchild once a week and enjoys life with her husband, Michael, who also retired from a long teaching career in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. The couple has two children: Valerie Chavola of Media and Suzanne Newman of Bethel Township.

During her years of counseling, Chavola could not help but notice the high percentage of people who dread housework, and came to recognize her own psychological motivation for the task. With a background in psychology and counselling, and a background as a stand-up comic, she decided to share what she knows with the hope of motivating others through her light-hearted guide.

“I wanted to help other people organize their tasks and use psychological motivators to help them think differently about housework,” the author shared.

Chavola said she started life as “too good a housewife”. As a child, she and her older sister were embarrassed to invite friends to their home because their mother was such a poor housewife.

“My mother was a sweet person, she gave us a home of love and kindness, but housekeeping was never a priority,” Chavola recalls. “My mom sat and watched soap operas all day. I remember my father’s frustration when he couldn’t find a bill or an important paper because of the clutter in our house. We lived in disorganized chaos!’

As an adult, Chavola reacted to her upbringing by going into the exact opposite mode. She mopped and dusted until her whole house was sparkling. When she found out that her in-laws were coming to visit, Chavola spent whole days making sure that there was not a speck of dust.

Gloves on, broom in hand, Colleen Chavola is ready to tackle the household chores.  Retired mental health counselor/stand-up comic shares advice and inspiration in his new book, "Dancing around the house" available at  (PEG DEGRASSA/MediaNews Group)
Gloves on, broom in hand, Colleen Chavola is ready to tackle the household chores. The retired mental health counselor/stand-up comic shares advice and inspiration in her new book, Dancing with Housework, available at (PEG DEGRASSA/MediaNews Group)

“My obsessive cleaning made me very cranky,” Chavola explained. “Perfection is not good in any area of ​​life. It took me a while, but I finally reached a happy medium. Now I am more relaxed about housework. My house is still very clean, but not 100 percent clean.’

Chavola says she now cleans the house twice a week, spending a total of four hours clearing clutter and doing basic cleaning tasks like vacuuming, dusting, the bath, shower, floors and kitchen.

“Everyone is different in how clean they want their home to be,” Ciavola said. “I rarely judge other people. Everyone has their own personal preference as to how clean or unclean they can tolerate and live with. However, I draw the line and start assessing whether there are bugs, cats licking plates, or dog poop on the floor. There are absolutely no excuses for living in a dirty, disease-producing home.”

The author shares motivators and tips like listening to your favorite music, organizing your cleaning supplies, talking to yourself, and giving yourself a small reward for completing each small task. The prioritized and customized plan even includes space for “yearly tasks” like windows, basement and garage. The author adds a “bonus chapter” to the book on daily cooking, making it more organized and efficient.

“A clean and orderly house makes us feel good, saves a lot of time searching for things and organizes our lives,” Chavola said. “My book has funny and useful parts. I combined my background in psychology and stand-up comedy in the hopes of helping others change their attitudes about housework.”

For more information on Dancing with Homework, visit or email Ciavola at

Back to top button