Friday, April 24, 2015

Laundry Chaos!!!

One of the hardest chores to get done around the house is the....Laundry.  Why on earth do I have to wash clothes that aren’t dirty over and over again.  Or at least they weren’t dirty until someone took them out of their drawer, thought about wearing it, and then decided not to wear it but thought it should go on the floor instead of back into the drawer.  Furthermore, laundry is a never ending job.  Much like all of the other chores that we have but laundry is unique in the fact that it can not be ignored.  We need clothes and they need to be clean and they usually need to be clean NOW.  Not to mention the fact that if all necessary laundry steps do not get done the laundry just stares at me and either takes over my bed or the couch until it is done.  The worst is having to dig through a stack of clothes when I’m in a hurry and need the one thing that I can not find.

Try these steps to tame the laundry beast from taking over:

1.) Get rid of the clothes!  My kids got to pick out ten outfits.  Ten tops and ten bottoms and the rest went away to bless someone else. They still got to keep a couple dresses for church, some paint clothes, and a small number of activity clothing. This also lessons the amount of underwear and socks needed because I am doing laundry more often.  So I sorted through those items as well.  And now because the kids only have ten oufits the laundry needs to be done once a week which also keeps the chaos away because there is a lot less to wash fold and put away at one time.  It also cuts down on having to wash clean clothes that were just thrown on the floor because they will pick them back up and wear them because they do not have tons of options for the week.  Still not convinced...a person only has about 10 favorite outfits at one time anyway the rest are the clothes that are sitting there waiting for you to think, "Well, I haven't worn that in a while so I guess I'll wear it," or you really don't want to wear it but you don't have anything else to wear.  Kids do not need that many clothes they want to wear their favorites over and over again too.  The final point I am going to make about this is from the cannot organize clutter you can only get rid of it.  So stop trying to organize the clutter and extra's in your life just get rid of them.  I am telling you it's been the best step for taming the laundry chaos, my kids have plenty of clothes to wear!

2.) A load a day keeps the Chaos away!  Doing the Laundry is four steps: wash, dry, fold, and put away.  Not one and then another one and then oh yah it’s time to do the laundry again and they didn’t even make the drawer.  Try putting a load of laundry in in the morning switching it at lunch or after work and then folding it before bed!  Keeping up on this in small steps is the way to go.  Waiting for the last minute on laundry just causes chaos.  Doing a load a day makes sure that there are not huge piles of clothes everywhere.

3.) Pay your kids a buck if they get their laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away by Sunday night!  Something else I've done is have it washed and ready for them to fold while they watch their TV show and then they have to put them away before bed.  Now remember you have less clothes so it really doesn't take longer then one TV show and it's not like you have to extend their bedtime very long either because it's only a couple stacks of clothes to bring to their drawers.

4.) Get yourself the right equipment.  Laundry hampers, the ones that have three spots to sort and wheels are great too.  Organize your laundry room or laundry space.  Make it a place you love not dread, add some decorations or some fresh flowers, and maybe even it’s own radio or blue tooth speakers for audiobooks or music.

If it’s bugging you there is always something you can do about it.  How do you manage your laundry chaos?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Hubby’s Home Work Hours

I slave labor over the stove cooking, cleaning up, helping kids with homework and trying to fold laundry all the while my darling husband sits on the couch and watches TV or plays on his phone.  I am inclined to look over and glare for awhile and then I start saying things like, “The garbage could be taken out.”  And then I say, “Could you please take out the garbage?”  He says, “Ya sure I’ll do that.”  And then continues to watch TV.  “When?” I say.  Oh maybe when I leave for work in the morning.  Okay, then I just want to loose it.  And this is fair how?  Yah yah, I know life is not fair but sometimes I just do not think my husband understands.  When I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done why does he think watching TV is on the agenda.  Am I the only one with this problem?

No typical hunny do list will do.  We’ve got to kick this into overdrive.  We decided to implement...Hubby’s Home Work Hours.

Here’s how it work:

For every number of kids we have my husband works the same number of hours each week on anything I want.  We have four kids so for four hours on Sat. or whenever we can schedule it that week he does whatever I want.  The trade off is that he gets to do whatever he wants the rest of the day without glares or judgement.  If he wants to sit and watch TV and I want to fold laundry while we watch he can and I can.  We can both enjoy it then.  He can enjoy it because I do not get to glare or judge or make comments about all the things that need to be done around the house and I enjoy it because I’m doing what I want and he has already helped out.  

My Hunny do list is getting smaller since we have been doing this and I am actually about to add some things to it.  I feel more relaxed about the time he wants and I do not feel like I have to bother him because I feel like I get what I want too.  I had heard this idea a couple times from some books.  I’m glad that we decided to implement it.  One other way that we tried to  implement this idea is on a daily basis.  If I needed something done I would ask and then I would bribe him by leaving him alone the rest of the day if he did that one thing for me.  Which worked too but we just found it harder to keep up with and we tend to be busier on weeknight.

My husband is pretty awesome if I do say so myself.  He works hard and does a lot for our family.  I’m really grateful for him.  Sometimes husbands just do not have the same thoughts on getting things done as their wife’s.  Did I say sometimes I meant most all the time.  This gives me and him more of a timeline on getting projects done so there is not a miscommunication there.  These things are usually more important to me then to him and he just thinks differently then me.  I have found that the most beneficial thing to do after this is to just do the other things that need to be done myself because I want them done.  The most important thing here is just not to be resentful when you are doing the jobs just do them because they need to be done and you want them down now.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Proper Goodnight

I am a super busy body and usually can't stop all the stuff I have going on at bedtime and I want to stay up and usually write all the amazing things going on in my head down on paper or computer.  My husband on the other hand gets tired and starts falling asleep usually while I'm trying to tell him all of these amazing things.  I hope you know I'm exaggerating here however my sister can attest to falling asleep during my nighttime rantings when we shared a room as little kids.  The problem is that I want to go to bed with my husband and give him hugs and all the loving kindness he deserves!  But if I try to go to bed I'm just left with thoughts running and running and I can't sleep.  Which we all know is a small form of torture.  So I came up with....

"The Proper Goodnight" 

...and we actually call it that...I ask him, "Are you ready for your proper goodnight!"

So here's how it works...

Husband goes to bed because he's tired or vice versa you may be the one that has to stick toothpicks in your eyes to try to stay awake so you can go to bed with your go to bed with him...not to sleep just to snuggle get some back rubs and the low down on how each other's day was and then snap I'm back up out of bed to finish all the crap that won't get out of my head!  (PS sometimes the snuggling helps and I'm ready and needing to sleep too)

Why this is important and how it's blessed our far?

*This gives us the chance to show each other we love each other in our own personal love language.  I'm not just talking about sex here but sex is a plus!

*It renews our bonds daily and keeps them strong so they don't fade.

*It gives us a chance to talk about any concerns or anything that's hurt our feelings.  ***general warning for this not talk about stuff that you know is going to get one or the other of you ticked off because you know neither of you will be sleeping after that***

*I feel more Loved and Fulfilled.

This has been something much easier for my husband and I to do with a more "normal" schedule but this is not always something that we can physically do due to work schedules.  My husbands police officer hours did not help the matter in the least.  Looking back I wish we would have made the effort even if it wasn't at night.  Instead of a proper goodnight try a proper good morning, or nighttime phone call, or get the point.  Plan it some other time if you aren't able to do it at bedtime.

Our relationship is number one and I sometimes loose the focus of that amidst kids, house, work, and other responsibilities.  I notice that when I do not spend time with my spouse it shows.  Continued undivided attention is necessary to a successful relationship.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chore Headaches Solved

Dividing the household responsibilities can always be a bit tricky.  Who does what, when, how often...Etc.  Someone is always feeling like they are getting the short end of the stick.  Is that the saying? Anyway, How to divide the work.  I love letting my kids be responsible for themselves.  I cannot believe the progress we have made with this, this year.  My kids are starting to get a little older and they really do get themselves ready and dressed without much pushing and fighting in the morning.  Well fighting with me anyway, fighting with their siblings is a different story.  In fact, I am going to admit that on a handful of mornings I even stayed in bed because I’d been up with the baby and they got ready completely on their own and out to the school bus all on their own AND not to mention that their chores where done too.  When our kids are responsible to help out and to make sure their part gets done they will strive to do it, and we are all a lot happier.  Here are some tools we have been using to help:

The Chore Wheel:  You cannot laugh at my shottie work, it was not designed for aesthetic appeal, however you crafty moms out there could come up with something a lot cuter I’m sure.  Please post a picture if you do!!!  I love the wheel we change it around (towards the sink) every sunday night.  So the kids have the same job for a week.  I have found that a week is just the right amount of time.  It is long enough that I do not feel like I am forgetting to change the wheel and it is not too long where someone really feels the agony of doing the dishes last forever.  Pick chores to put on the wheel that are age appropriate and that are daily chores such as feed the animals or clear the table.

The Checklist:  There are tons of things that the kids need to do in the morning that are not really considered chores but are necessary to personal health and hygiene and also to their environmental health.  I may have made that last thing up but it’s true.  I bought each of my kiddos their own checklist and I started them out small.  I hate those pre-made checklists with things already on them because first of all we are so excited when we first get them that we do it for maybe a week tops and then the novelty wears off and we are back to square one of yelling or forgetting etc.  So I made our own.  I wrote on the dry erase boards with sharpie so they could check them off as they went and not keep erasing the checklist.  At first I didn’t want to ruin their boards or not be able to change something on the list later on but believe me it is well worth putting it on in sharpie, you can always adapt still.  The major component to getting this one right is to start small put things on the checklist that the kids already do very well.  My kids brushed their teeth really well so that went on there, then I picked one or two new things that we needed to work on.  Such as picking out your clothes every night before bed.  We worked on the new items for about a month and then added items onto the checklist (such as reading 10 min. every night) as we began to master the new tasks.  If they finished their morning checklist they get to watch one TV show, if they finish their nighttime checklist then they get to have a night time treat.  It works wonders.  The treat isn’t extravagant but something small and they just finish then they get one they don’t or they take to long then they miss out.  They soon learn the tasks and they become habits for their lives.  I know I am still mastering routines so I need to remember to take it easy on them and give them the skills to master the routines instead of getting angry and saying, “I thought I told you to...” all the time.  In addition, I added a box for the kids to check if they checked everything for the whole day and I award them a dollar each week it’s done.  I love being able to teach the kids about money management.  We are creating wonderful routines with this system as well as acceptability and responsibility in the kids.

Home Blessing Hour:  This is one of the tips I took from the Fly Lady at  She suggests doing Home Blessing Hour on Mondays but since I am a busy mom and mondays are way too busy for it most weeks.  We do ours Saturday morning and this way everyone can pitch in and help too.  If you have a floppy schedule like my husbands job did choose a day that he has off so he can help too, but make sure to schedule it and discuss it at family meeting or it won’t happen.  Or if you like to do the work yourself schedule it when nobody else is around or when everyone else can be busy.  But it could be a good day to plan something fun with the family, you can tell everyone that if they all work hard for an hour cleaning the house then we will get to do something fun.  This is the quick cleaning day of the week.  The Fly Lady has other 15 min. deep cleaning tasks that she does daily instead of a day of cleaning.  So it’s a quick vacuum, sweep/mop, dust/polish, throw out old magazines/take out garbage, and change sheets.  Take about 10 min. each give or take.  I set the timer and go.  I made these flower pots for a pick me jar for church but they would also work great for chores.  Just put the names of the chores on the bottom of the popsicle stick and let everyone pick their jobs. Can you think of more ways to use these?