Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A few tips to make the days go smoother...

Over at It's Almost Naptime! my fellow mom friend, Missy, has asked for us to share our tips on making life run a bit smoother. I loved reading other mom's tips (what a wealth of knowledge!!) and thought I might post a few that we have used. Nothing earth shattering, but after reading in our adoption training manual that children 4 and under assume that every family is like their family, I think we can all learn from what it's like in each other's houses. I love picking up tips from YOU! Here are a few things we do:

1) My older girls DAILY empty the dishwasher. Even on Sunday. One does the top and bottom rack, the other polishes all the silverware (ha! we all know "polish" is a bit of a stretch here...) and puts all the sippy cup plugs back into the lids. This saves me so much time and it's SO NICE to open an empty, clean dishwasher at the start of the day! (We run it every night while we sleep...look and see if yours has the "4 hour delay" option!)

2) When we homeschooled we had a special daily cleaning time I dubbed, "Home Blessing." We have a watered down version of that now that they attend public school (poor them, with homework, ya know?! wink wink!) I had little plastic nametag pockets that they wore around their necks that I would slide in the tasks for that 1/2 hour segment of the day. It was awesome! This is the ONLY way the 2 ferns on the porch survived the hot summers. (Thank you, Anneli!) Between the 3 of us (Oliver was too young then) we cleaned the entire house each week. Truly, our house was never as clean as when we homeschooled! Hmmmmm...

3) Earning computer time. My kids have to read 1 hour for every 15 minutes they play online. (Mom or Dad approved website, of course.) Books are where it's at and I'm trying to foster a love for reading. Did you know that just having books in your house (you don't even have to read them!) will increase your child's literacy rate? Imagine what would happen if they see Mom reading books at every chance she gets? (That's me...one in the car, one by my bed, one at the table for after dinner for all to listen to (usually a missionary biography) another on the island for when I'm having lunch! People are surprised that I am reading more than one book at a time...but that's why!!)

4) All laundry is taken immediately upon removal-from-body to the 3 baskets in our big closet. I quit having laundry baskets in each room b/c it was more work. One station for all of it. (I need a trick to get them to take it in there!!) My kids know how to sort: dark on the left, light on the right. (that rhyme is important!) I gather the basket that is the most full when I first get up in the morning and get it started as I'm filling up my water bottle for my morning workout.

5) Daily exercise. This is critical in my house, and not just because I'm a Beachbody coach. This is for my own sanity and for the purpose of modeling good habits for my children. I am CONVINCED that watching my mom jump rope for hours in our kitchen has carried over to my willingness to make this a daily part of my routine. (Thanks, Mom!) My tip is that as soon as I get out of bed, I put on my workout clothes. I don't have my quiet time with the Lord in my jammies, I've got a sports bra on and I'm ready to BRING IT! right at 6 am. If I work it right, I can get my workout(s) in and a shower before we have to load into the car by 7:30 am to go to the bus stop. (This doesn't always happen!)

My last tip is to go to bed on time, which I've not done b/c I'm writing this! I have a bed time too...and I try to keep it. It sure makes 5 am a lot easier to tolerate! Good night all!


  1. We keep 3 laundry baskets in the laundry room (upstairs where the 3 older boys' bedrooms are)...one for each child. When they get dressed in the morning or for bedtime, they take their dirty clothes straight to the laundry room. The baby is in our room, so his dirty laundry goes in our basket. I do the same as you (whites on the right, I always say :) )...and I wash one load a day (yet somehow still need to play catch up with a couple extra loads on my cleaning day (thursday) ) Thanks for sharing your tips!!! Now, if I could only go back and make my mom exercise in front of me when I was younger, I might be more motivated haha! (just looking for an excuse...)

  2. Hi there...visiting from Missy's blog :)
    I love the 1 hour of reading = 15 minutes on the computer idea! My 11 year old son and my 9 year old daughter are going to "real" school this year from the first time (public) after homeschooling all the years before...and they have fallen OUT of the reading books habit and into the laptop habit. In their school, they do have a very nice laptop program, which teaches them all about working on the computers, doing power points (things I have no clue about!) and so I am appreciative of all the computer knowledge they are getting, but they each have their own iBook laptops now, and they love playing games on them. Too much. I've been looking for a way to get them back into the reading habit without being a mean mommy, lol, so your idea is going to work so well. They both do LOVE reading, but just get caught up on the computer and push reading to the way side. In fact, since I'm known to do the same thing myself (getting sucked into the computer) I think I'm going to make a rule up for myself as well. How about 1 hour of blessing my house (which can be cleaning, tidying up, laundry, decorating, and/or doing things fun with the kids like reading or coloring or playing games) = 15 minutes on the computer. I think I need something like that to keep me in check ;)

  3. @Anna-you have one day for cleaning? I'd love to hear about that. I've kinda spread different tasks around on different days. Sounds like we are laundry-bound-at-the-heart! ;)

    @Katrina-oh my! one HOUR of blessing my house for every 15 min on the computer--WOW! Imagine the sparkling china...I've also heard someone throw down the gauntlet--read a chapter of the Bible for every time you check in on social media! Imagine all the reading we'd get in! :)

    I love getting better b/c of others! Thanks girls!! :)

  4. I LOVE some of those tips! Hayley is 13, and I've got to get her contributing more. Also, my issue with her has been her Nintendo. She will stay on it all day long if I let her! She DOES love to read though. If she has a book to read, she'll automatically read instead of playing the nintendo. She's very picky about her reading material though!

    I guess the only tip I could add would be something that I just recently added to my life (due to Chalene Johnson's 30 day organizational challenge). I'm finally using the "smart" part of my smart phone. I have a blackberry, and found an app called "PocketDay Lists". I use it for my "to do" list and shopping lists. As I go through my week, and I think of something we need or that I need to do, I add it to a list. Now I will never again have to call my husband to find my list because I forgot to put it in my purse...unless I leave my cell phone home (that doesn't happen much)! ;-)


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