OK. So based on the title of this blog, clearly we're busy. We're parents and workers and family members and we have our own interests to pursue. We have bills to pay, houses to clean, food to make, and a laundry list of other things that we need to do in order to keep of family organized and running smoothly. All these things however, cut into the most important time we have, family time.
As I see it, we have 2 options here: do some of these things as a family, or let some of them slide. Only some. Admittedly, there are certain things that we can't let slide and aren't appropriate family time activities. Like paying bills. I have yet to find a useful way to include my toddler in that and it is definitely not something we can let slide. But a lot of our other tasks can be made into family activities.
Laundry, for example. In our house the break down is my husband loads the washer and dryer and T and do the folding and putting away. I always let T help me. Sometimes its actually helpful and sometimes its not, but we have fun either way. When I fold my husband's and T's t-shirts, T's job is to identify the characters on the shirts. Sometimes he wears special laundry time attire for this job, i.e. one of my husbands shirts. Another T job is to sort out all the socks so that we can match them and roll them up. He thinks its a game. He gets to work on his matching skills and we get to have fun together, AND the laundry gets done! Win-Win-Win!!
Another family time activity can be putting toys away. T and I play different games depending on what we have to clean up. Sometimes we have races to see who can clean up the fastest. Sometimes we put all the toys of a certain color away first and then move on to a new color. Sometimes we let some toys help us put away other toys. For example, recently Sulley assisted us in putting away our puzzles when were done playing with them.
A few other family chores include setting the table and dusting. T is excellent at bringing dishes and utensils from the kitchen to the dining room table. He also loves to dust. If he sees you with a dusting cloth, we demands a wipe so he can clean as well. We like to have dusting races and see who can clean their half of the table first. We also test each other to see if we can remember how to put things back the way they were. As long as its a game, it doesn't feel like doing chores!
Some things that slide: sweeping under furniture, sometimes the dishes, a full cleaning of the bathroom, definitely cleaning above windows and light fixtures. The thing is, I am OK with that. My house doesn't need to look like a museum, we live there and it should look like it. I would rather sit on the floor and play Legos than make sure my sink is constantly empty. Being busy means you have to prioritize, and for me, my priority is having fun with my toddler before he's not a toddler anymore.
Every once in a while, I sit and dream about what it would be like to have one of those big, spacious, clean bedrooms like in the HGTV Dream Home. In reality, my bedroom is a lot smaller, not as nicely furnished, and can get cluttered from time to time. While I can't increase the size of your room, the following list will get you a lot closer to the feel of your dream bedroom by completing small manageable tasks.
It happens to all of us. We have the best of intentions for an organized pantry. We plan to use things before they expire and keep things rotating. Then one day we look in our pantry and it's a mess. Something has spilled, other things have expired and our organized rows have become a jumble. When you don't have time to really take apart your pantry, here are some quick tips to help it feel more organized.
Have you ever looked at your overloaded closet and thought "I have nothing to wear"? I would love to overhaul my closet. I have been putting this off for a while. A long while. Usually you go through your closet and look at what you haven't worn in a while and use that to help you determine whether or not you should keep it. I couldn't really do that for a while. First I was pregnant, so nothing fit. Then I had to lose the baby weight so only some things fit. Now most things fit but I'm breastfeeding. That means even if they fit, a lot of high neckline shirts aren't being worn.
Have you ever felt like you cannot keep up with the influx of paper in your home? Every day more and more paper comes in, but who has time to go through it all. I though it was bad before, but now with kids, the amount of paper coming in has multiplied. I have found a system that I use to manage the influx of paper in my house. Now I know what to keep and where it belongs so I don't have piles of paper on my counters, dining room table, side table, and pretty much every surface in my home.
As of this Friday, I will be 34 weeks pregnant with baby Hailey. This means it's time to start packing go bags for the hospital. This time we have an extra person to pack for. T will be spending time at grandma's while mom and dad are at the hospital. This will be his first overnight away from home, so we want to make sure he is as comfortable as possible. I have thus created a hospital bag and sibling bag checklist. The first is a list of items for Mom, Dad, and Baby, and the second is a list for the older sibling(s).
Two easy to use apps that you can use to help make money doing things that you already do.
With all the credit card spending going on this month, I thought I'd share my how to guide to never miss a bill. In order to keep track of all of the payments I need to make each month, I put together a spreadsheet of all of our household bills and when they are due. This helps me keep track of due dates without having to worry about if I received a physical bill or not. In our house, I do all of the bill paying. Therefore, my husband gives me his portion of the bill money, and I issue all the payments. This spreadsheet also helps me determine how much he owes for the month.