Some of us parents were born with serious Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that we have to put on hold when it comes to raising kids.
I have no idea how or exactly when I became so “anal” about having an organized home, but I am a firm believer that everything HAS to be in its given place. And I don’t mean that it just has to be in its given place. Everything that comes into the house HAS to have a designated “home.” If for some reason it doesn’t, it becomes an eyesore for me and it will bug me until it does find a proper place.
My Organization Begins when Anything Is Brought into the Home
I read a book about 4 to 5 years ago that gave me a great motto for living as someone who craves organization: “Like with like. One home for everything.” (You’re going to have to forgive me, but right now the title of the book totally escapes me, but I have never forgotten the concept.) Over the years, I’ve tried to implement this philosophy in pieces, but now I noted that I’m more “intense” about it (for lack of a better term).
Basically, instead of just leaving stuff randomly placed anywhere and everywhere, identify a home for it. It can be a corner of the house, a drawer, a closet, a cabinet or even an entire room. Just designate that as the “official area” for whatever you’re adding to your household.
Everything Has A Home Within the Home
When you do this, the most important thing for you to remember is that everyone in the house must know where the homes are and what goes there. This way, you don’t have to have those monotonous conversations about putting things back where they belong. You need total buy-in on this for it to work.
When my kids or my husband bring something home with them, I’m always on their case about where that item will live. They need to know exactly where to go to when they need that item and they need to know where to put it back when they’re finished.
My Office Supplies Provides a Great Example
So, let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. We now have dedicated office cabinets where nothing but office type supplies live.
When I say “like with like,” I mean that all the writing tools, paper, binders, rulers, and note pads go here. Items of similar categories that make sense go together. And there’s only one home for it. So now there are no more questions of “Where’s a pen” or “Where’s this” or Where’s that”. Instead, my family knows if they need an office supply item, look in the “office cabinet/drawer” and be sure to put it back when they’re done.
Another great grouping that I know would help lots of people is my home for all things electronic. This is where we put everything like wires, cables, batteries, spare chargers, or anything else that is gadget related. (Wires are one of my pet peeves. If they are everywhere, it drives me nuts!)
Part of being a good parent is teaching your kids to be self-sufficient and responsible. And part of that means doing your own laundry. Getting my kids to do their own laundry has been a huge time saver for us! The earlier you can get this routine implemented with your own kids, the easier it will be for you and your family.
Don’t Push Your Kids – But Don’t Wait Too Long Either!
Please remember, every child is different and develops at a different pace. But that being said, overall, kids are more capable of doing things on their own than we give them credit for. (Let’s face it—if they can operate a smart phone or video game system, they can do their own laundry!)
The problem is that we either subconsciously don’t want them to be independent or we think that it will just be quicker and easier if we do it ourselves instead of taking the time to teach them how to do it.
The Best Way to Teach Laundry Responsibility To Your Kids
The best way to do all of this is to introduce laundry to them in phases. When they’re younger, get them involved in the laundry process with you. Let them see you sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting the clothes away. Be sure to explain what you’re doing as you go so they can understand it.
Teach Kids in Phases All the Parts of Laundering
As your kids get older, you can let them join you in doing different parts of the laundry. This can include simple tasks like sorting their own clothes out into a pile to fold or have them fold something simple with you like shorts or small towels.
The idea is that eventually, over time, they will become used to all the different processes and (with a little supervision in the beginning) you can let them do each part of the laundry process on their own.
The phases my kids went through when they were learning to do laundry:
Phase 1 — Put their folded clothes away
Phase 2 — Fold their own clothes + Phase 1
Phase 3 — Take their clothes out of the dryer + Phase 2 + Phase 1
Phase 4 — Take their clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
Phase 5 — Put their dirty clothes into the washer + Phased 4 + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
Phase 6 — Put detergent and fabric softener in and start the washing machine + Phase 5 + Phase 4 + Phase 3 + Phase 2 + Phase 1
A Little Investment of Time, Pays Off Eventually
I think I started my kids on this process when they were 5 and 7, although I definitely could have involved them in it a lot earlier. Now they are 8 and 10 and they’re doing their entire laundry on their own. (Up until last week, my oldest was taking care of measuring out the detergent. But now, the 8-year-old wants to learn how to pour out the detergent, so he’s getting there!)
It is SOOOOO worth it to take that extra time and effort to train the kids on these processes. I know sometimes it’s much quicker to just do it yourself. But in the long run, your kids will learn how to be more self-sufficient and you won’t regret the decision to teach them when they are young.
As a mom, there’s never just one job that you have to cover. It’s an endless barrage of task after task after task that can be overwhelming.
So, it makes sense if you can create a system that helps you feed two birds with one seed. Right?
What if you could help your kids with the following habits: doing chores, managing their money, and becoming more civic-minded by donating to charity? And it’s possible to do all of this with one system.
One System Can Teach Kids Three Healthy Habits?
Like a lot of parents, I’ve created a chore chart as a way of tracking if my kids do the things they’re supposed to for their weekly payment. This can be a combination of chores they’re expected to do as being part of the family such as brushing their teeth and cleaning up the sink after themselves to those that go above those expectations.
Each time they do a chore, they place a chore stick into their bin so I can track if they’ve done what they are supposed to. This means it makes them responsible for their own actions. I simply ask how their chores are coming and they have a tendency to self-regulate without me nagging them about getting their work done.
What makes this system great on multiple levels is that it accomplishes several things.
First, it builds healthy habits. No one is going to be standing over them when they get out on their own checking to see if they’ve done the dishes or swept the kitchen. They need to learn how to self-regulate and monitor their own behaviors. So, it’s important to teach these healthy habits at an earlier age before they get released into the real world.
Build Healthy Habits
It teaches them the importance of working for money. If they don’t do the chores, they don’t get paid. This instills in them that they have to earn what they get and not just have it handed to them. The amount of personal responsibility this gives them is amazing.
Earn Screen Time
Another thing it provides my kids is the ability to earn screen time. No one wants their child turning into a mindless zombie, but we also don’t want them completely shut out from the amazing technology that this generation is in love with.
My kids don’t get screen time during the school week. But they complete their chores in order to earn weekend screen time. This makes them appreciate earning their time and it also means they value the time that they do get.
Teaching the Healthy Money Habit
Now, every family is different, but in my house, we give our kids $10 a week for completing their chores. We have a bank system they use to keep track of their money. Each week, I give them the $10 and they have to decide how much they’re going to put into each of three “accounts”—spend, save, and give away.
The spend section is obvious—the amount of money they want to use right now to buy something like snacks or a small toy. The save account is where I teach them to delay gratification. Sure, they might want a really expensive item; but they have to learn to wait weeks or even months to earn enough money to buy it themselves. But the real difference is the “give” account—this is money they set aside to donate to charity. This instills in them a desire to help others. But it also gets them to see beyond themselves and donate to charities that they want to give to.
Best Part of the System is The Communication
I love being able to sit down with them and have them explain their thought process on how much to spend, save, and give. It allows me to check in and see how they are learning healthy money habits.
Today, there’s not much we can all agree on it seems if you look at social media or the news.
Well, there’s something that 100% of the moms we asked said they ALL want for their Mother’s Day. Can you guess what it is?
First, we reached out to moms with little ones at home. They were kind enough to take time out of their busy day to give us their responses.
We asked: What do you most want for your Mother’s Day?
Below we share their actual responses, but it is unanimous that each mom wants one thing: TIME.
That precious commodity that we never get enough of as moms (and really anyone these days, but especially moms). Our time is not our own. We do for others and make sure the lives of our loved ones are easier and consistent by the daily actions we take to keep things going.
There were variations of each moms answer as to what they would do with the time given but each one asked for time not on the mom clock so they can spend it how they like for just one day.
So, for the husbands and kids out there, here are a few tips from our mom poll on how you can make your mom feel special and appreciated on Mother’s Day:
Offer to cook breakfast for your wife/mom (be sure to let her sleep in first!)
Do the dishes, take out the trash and any other chores she typically does
Does she like massages or getting her nails done? Schedule a pamper session for her!
Make a homemade card with your heartfelt thoughts about how wonderful your mom/wife is.
Know something special your mom really appreciates? Whatever it is – do it!
It’s not hard and it isn’t costly to show the mom in your life just how amazing she really is. Want to know exactly what our moms said they want for their Mother’s Day? Watch the video below:
Here are must pack items to bring along with you to sport events:
I can’t say it enough: You’ve got to stay hydrated, no matter what you’re doing. Even if you think you’re just going to be sitting on the sidelines, remember that the sun can really sneak up on you and get you overheated.
And let’s face it—you aren’t just going to be sitting on the sidelines a lot. You’re going to be on your feet, running with the action, and yelling and cheering your kid on to victory.
Sporting event concession stands are notorious for being overpriced and full of unhealthy, sugary sodas and juices. Water will keep you hydrated during the games and keep your throat from drying out, so you can continue to yell your support. If your child runs off from the sidelines to join you, they’re also going to need plenty of water as well.
If you haven’t been to a sporting event for kids in a while, let’s cue you in on one big tip. Chances are the field will NOT have any kind of bleacher seats for you to use, and if they do, the seats are going to be hard metal that will kill your back.
Go ahead and head this off with some comfy captain’s chairs so you can sit in style. I personally like the type that folds up into the easy-to-carry bags and comes with a cupholder for your bottled water.
Soccer, baseball, and other outdoor sports can be brutal underneath the spring-time sun. You’re absolutely going to need shade to keep from roasting.
An absolute must-have is sunscreen. SPF 30 sunscreen will block 97% of the sun’s rays and SPF 50 will take that up just a notch to 98%.
Besides the sunscreen to ward off burns and potential skin cancer, stay safe while outdoors by also bringing an umbrella. (It can double to block out the sun but also to be on hand for any random thunderstorms.) A big floppy hat and a nice pair of sunglasses will round out your ensemble and keep you comfy during the game.
Getting ready for a kids’ sporting event should not require all the packing and preparation as if you’re getting ready to storm the beach at Normandy. But it does require some preparation so that you can be comfortable and safe during the game.
It may not be the most hated chore in the household (that’s reserved for that pile of dirty dishes in the sink), but laundry can be a pain in the neck.
It’s not the actual washing and drying that’s difficult—it’s the folding and putting away that can drive you crazy, especially if you’re a parent with lots of little ones causing the amount of laundry to multiply exponentially.
If you’re searching for a way to make this a little easier on you, give these laundry hacks a try:
(Please note: we do not make any money off the links below. We’re simply wanting to make your life easier by providing links if you’re interested.)
While it’s not ideal for all clothes, this can save time and make your clothes stack up nicer. Plus, kids love it because it looks like fun and they will be more likely to join in and help.
2. Keep All Your Socks Together
If you’ve done laundry for an entire family, then you know about the mystery sock. That’s the one lone sock that turns up at the end of a laundry session that doesn’t have a mate, no matter how hard you look.
Instead of losing a single sock every washing, invest in a mesh laundry bag. This way, you put all of the socks in the bag, wash them in the bag, and they’re all still together when you take them out at the end.
As an added bonus, the bag can double as a travel case for organizing your clothes on vacation!
3. Separate Your Clothes by Person
I’m sure you’re used to sorting your laundry by color. But if possible, also sort it according to who they belong to. That way, when you get your clothes out of the dryer, you don’t have to do a massive sorting session to see who they belong to.
If that’s not practical in your household, at least consider washing the kids’ clothes separately from the adult’s. That way, when the clothes are finished, you can have your kids help you put up their clothes, saving you sorting time.
4. Pre-Sorted Hampers
If you have the room, invest in a few different clothes hampers and label them: Colors, Lights, Delicates, etc. Whatever system may work for you and your family’s needs is best. But make sure you put the clothes in the right bin and then just toss them in without having to sort them.
5. Combine Laundry with Something You Like Doing
Laundry isn’t just washing, drying, folding, and putting up. It also involves a tedious task—ironing. But if you find yourself dreading this, then try to liven it up.
It may sound goofy but try turning laundry day into a party. Put on some music that everyone will enjoy and dance around a bit as you all put away your own clothes. If you have young kids, you may need to help them a little, but it can still go quicker, or at least it will feel that way.
Laundry hacks can help you gain time
Laundry doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. As with any chore, it’s all about finding the right mindset and a way to get organized and shave off some time here and there.