Saturday, October 29, 2011


Plans are interesting.  They can revolutionize our lives or they can make us feel like a failure.  Anytime I have a problem, I love to make a plan that will solve it.  Actually, planning is my favorite part, the action or endurance, not so much.   Good plans will let us achieve our goals with out wearing out. 

When it is someone else's plan, I guess I would be willing to try it on for a fit.  When I have a problem, I love to do a lot of research to find out how other people solve it.  It may be my solution or it may not work for our family at all or it just may need to be modified to fit us.  I think it is important to periodically reevaluate your plan too. Things change over time.  Now I coupon and stock up on good deals, with in sane reason :) and without waste or committing coupon fraud.  Perhaps when my kids are teenagers, they just might eat more if we have more.  At their age now, no one wants to go down to the basement on their own, even for food!  In years to come, when our basement becomes a teenage cave, I can see the food vanishing quickly.  I have to be open to changing my plan.

Lately I have been using couch to 5k, and it is very motivating to have a plan and to check it off as done.  Plans are better when they are reasonable and have small increments of change.  Short term plans give us a sense of accomplishment.  9 weeks, I can do anything for 9 weeks.  It seems so much more manageable.  

Also, I think it is very important to bare in mind that people are very different and have very different circumstances.  I am not sure if one plan is better than the other as far as laundry, running, meal planning, etc.  My friend has an extremely clean house, and I keep thinking, I need to get her cleaning routine so I can have a super clean house too.  But I have to remind myself, she has one child and an extremely neat husband, while I have 3 and a very nice, but untidy husband :-)  Some people think she is too neat, but I respect her cleaning plan because I know she does it with a good heart.  Her husband really needs a neat house for it to feel like a sanctuary, but others don't know that and judge her without knowing her heart.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pinterest: Organizing Your Ideas

A friend introduced me to Pinterest, which is a website which lets you 'pin' items you find on the web onto your virtual board on their website.  No pile of papers clipped for ideas you plan to get to someday.  Most magazines have this articles on-line now, so you can pin them instead.  No printing recipes that you plan to cook someday, and then not being able to find it when you need it.  It is great for those blog posts, decor ideas, or fun things to do with the kids that want to remember.  It is a great organizational tool that puts your 'idea clutter' and stores it into cyber space, not in your dining room!

When you 'pin' something on Pinterest, it will show a large picture with just a brief description, which is also a link to the site that you pinned from.  There is a small button on your bookmark task bar that lets you do this.  It is also like Facebook, in that you can follow other people, so you can see what your friends pin.  It is a great way to share ideas, and it is set up so you can either view just your friends' pins or everyones' pins.

On Pinterest, you can have serval boards under whatever subject headings you want.  They will suggest some to you when you sign up.  Here are mine:

  • Products I Love
  • Books Worth Reading
  • Homeschooling Ideas
  • Decor
  • Gift Ideas
  • Dinner Ideas
  • Kid's Decor
  • Places I'd Like to Go
  • Craft Ideas
  • Sweet Treats
  • Recipes (this is for food that doesn't fit into sweets or dinner ideas)
  • Holidays
  • Household Management
  • Toys and Fun
  • My Blog Posts (if it is a post I need to go back and reference)
  • Baby Ideas
  • Fitness
  • Travel with Kids
  • Photo Shots
If you are on Pinterest, share your board titles in the comments! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ruling Over My Laundry Pile

There is nothing like the change of seasons to bring on an eruption of Mount Washmore.  This time it has made me rethink our laundry system because apparently it is just not working.  First of all, the laundry is not getting done.  Second, I am doing it all, the kids should be helping more.  They are 10, 7, and 5, so no more excuses.  Lastly, if I am fortunate enough to wash, dry and actually take the clothes out before they are completely wrinkled, they sit in all sorts of places, except in their proper place - in our drawers and closets.

Most people will organize their laundry system by letting clothes pile in bins, marked with each child's name.  Then, once the bins are full, they put them away.  This does not work for us right now because seeing all those clothes to put away makes me want to put it off, not to mention that it totally overwhelms my kids.  Also, part of doing the laundry every day is so we need less clothes.  This would not work if we only put the clothes away once a week.  This is not just with laundry, I find just about anything multiplies if I do not put it away right away - mail, kids' artwork, toys, etc.

The solution is to make sure I put in a load first thing in the morning, if I wake up early enough, the load will be dried by the time I start homeschooling.  Because lets face it, once we start school, that is pretty much it for the rest of the day as far as household management is concerned.  To get more help, that is done correctly, we are going to put the laundry away, right away, and as a team.  After breakfast, I can wipe down the dining room table, which I need to do for school anyway.  Then the kids take their spots standing by their seats, and I dump the laundry in the middle.  I hang or fold the clothes and they run and put them away, pretty much one item at a time (mostly tops and bottoms).  This keeps them busy while I fold or hang the clothes. It helps to be faithful in the small things first!  Once they master this, my hope is they can also hang and fold their own clothes.

This part takes some training.  First time I found my pants in my 5 year old's drawer.  Also, I like sweat pants with sweat pants and jean with jeans.  If it is not done the way I want it to, I know I will end up doing it myself, and besides, showing them exactly how to put clothes away helps the task seem achievable for them.  My kids always need the helpful reminder, "We get done faster, if we do our work right."  Next time I think I need to add about being a careful listener too, my post put away inspection finds many "now how did they get that out of what I told them to do" examples.  Hopefully this whole scheme leads to "many hands make light work," clean clothes and our laundry problem solved!