It was Friday late afternoon. It had been a long tiring week and I was very much looking forward to 5:30 pm, a glass of wine and pizza that I didn’t have to make! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook but at the end of a long week of toddlers, chicken nuggets, diapers, and toys I am quite ready to have dinner delivered and put my feet up!
I was clock watching, getting kids snacks and preparing for parents to arrive when I received a text message from our landlord. We don’t hear from her much so I was surprised. She lives in Alaska and we live in Idaho. We take care of the house and don’t bother her unless we have to and she doesn’t bother us unless necessary as well. It is a good situation and she is a great person.I read the text…. “I am in town and would like to come by to see the house tomorrow morning if that is OK?” She hasn’t been to visit or see her property in about three or four years so I totally understand her wanting to drop by…. but, tomorrow?!!! Yikes!! Terror struck me and my mind started to race. What all needs to be done? Should I clean and organize the freezer? Clean the tops of the kitchen cupboards? Disinfect the garbage cans? Whoa…….. breathe…..
Ok…..what really needs to be done? I looked around. I decided the carpet needed to be vacuumed, dusting should be done, entry rugs shook out, the kitchen and entry should be swept, and a little extra tidying up in the bedrooms. My family pitched in and we had all that done easily in a half an hour! By 6 pm we were having wine and pizza!
The house looked fantastic! I didn’t go all crazy and do things that didn’t need to be done and with just a few minutes of normal cleaning it looked great. You know why it only took a little effort to make the house company ready? Routines!!! The bathrooms were clean, there were no piles of laundry, dishes/kitchen was done and beds were made, the house was tidy, the kitty litter and garbage had been taken care of. The house look good and smelled good!
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Thank you, routines, for giving me a self cleaning house that allowed me to have wine and pizza on the Friday night before my landlord was to come see our home! Side note…. the landlord couldn’t fit stopping by into her schedule before leaving town so she never did make it. If you all want to stopover…..my house looks great!
I am tired. At 52 years old and still taking care of 6 toddlers and babies and my family every day, I am exhausted at times, ok…. most of the time!
We have all been there! I remember stumbling into walls I was so tired when my babies were young. All I wanted to do was go to sleep for 48 hours!
Clearly, that isn’t a possibility. Life goes on and so must we! We will survive. We have homes, children, laundry, work, meals, and relationships to tend to.
So how do we keep going when we really just want to nap or put our feet up? How do we keep from being overwhelmed and frustrated?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Doing daily routines is a huge lifesaver during times in your life where you are sleep deprived or overworked. You do those on autopilot. For all the other things that need to be attended to…..do them one thing at a time. One load of dishes, one room tidied up, one meal made. Put one foot in front of the other and try not to think of the whole picture, just what needs to be done next.
We often give ourselves too many outs, too many breaks. We are capable of far more than we think. Yes, it is really easy to say “I worked hard all day. I deserve to sit down and watch my favorite TV show instead of doing the dinner dishes.” but is that really doing yourself any favors? It’s not! Those things left undone will still be there when you are ready for bed or when you get up in the morning. It will put you that much more behind the next day and the next. It will snowball, get you down, make you depressed, make you make bad choices, make you grouchy and more tired.
I am not suggesting that we live on four hours of sleep and never stop working. Most definitely not! Sleep is very important for your health. I am talking about those times you know you should be folding clothes while watching that TV show. The times when you decide to just read one chapter of your book before starting dinner dishes….and then dishes don’t happen. The days you hit snooze too many times and decide not to do your morning routine.
Have you ever read Little House on the Prairie? Have you ever read the whole series? I know they are kids books but if you haven’t read them, read them. Read them to your kids. I have read them multiple times. I read them to my kids… maybe more than once. I am reading them to my granddaughter. They made a huge impression on me when I was a child. So much so that a few years ago when we had the chance we took the family to see Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house in Missouri. It was a wonderful experience.
Whenever I am tired and really just don’t wanna anymore, I think about all the things those people did and how hard they had to work just to survive. They couldn’t go through the drive-thru for lunch. They couldn’t even stop at the grocery store after work! Every single thing had to be planned, not days ahead but whole seasons and years ahead! They didn’t have a washer or dryer for laundry, Heck, they didn’t have the luxury of a couch to sit on and TV to watch while they folded their laundry! They would feel ashamed to be as lazy as we are now. We are capable of SO MUCH MORE! Modern convenience has us convinced and conditioned to feel we deserve to sit down and put our feet up.
A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep–So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:10 and Proverbs 24:33
(Just a quick side note… did you know that the above verse is in the Bible TWICE?! The exact same wording. I am thinking we are to take notice of that verse!)
I am sure that if our lives depended on it, we would be up before dawn putting wood in the wood cook stove and starting those beans to soak. We would be milking the cow and feeding the horse. We would be canning all day during harvest and skinning deer and drying meat in the winter. Sewing clothes by lantern light would be our downtime. If our survival was at stake we would take far fewer breaks and find a strength within we didn’t know we had.
Next time you just don’t wanna…. remember, you have a TV and a couch. You have time and you are capable of so much more!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
If you are interested in purchasing the “Little House” series, click on the image below!
The house where we raised our children was, shall I say, less than nice. When we moved in, there were three different wallpapers in the same room, purple kitchen cupboards with pink sponge painting on them, (Gag!) and bathroom tile that looked like a three-year-old did it with lots and lots of glue! It was bad! We had to remove carpet from one of our daughter’s bedrooms and couldn’t afford to replace it so she had a plywood floor. Our bedroom was in the basement and had a cement floor. On top of all that, the house was olive green. Blech. It was just not a pretty house.
Over time we were able to paint the house, turn the seven-foot tall weeds into a decent yard, and paint the god awful purple and pink kitchen cupboards white. Wow, was that a job! We never could afford carpet while we lived there and there remained a lot of things that were not aesthetically pleasing about the house.
Even though our house was not pretty, people that would come to our house always commented on how “nice” our house was. I am pretty sure I managed a “thank you” after picking up my jaw off the floor each time!
I tried to figure out what it was that made people say that. It certainly wasn’t our super nice furniture! Although my mother in law’s hand-me-down 1970’s couch might have been cool once, it really wasn’t. It couldn’t be the beautiful artwork hanging on the walls that had been carefully selected from our exclusive GoodWill.
I am fairly certain that is was the feeling you got when you walked in our home and not the Thrift store curtains and well-overused second- hand piano that gave our guests that impression. It felt clean, peaceful and full of love.
I really struggled when we first moved there with all the work that needed to be done, the painting, the fixing, trying to make it look nice plus all the housework and laundry and cooking and homeschooling for a family of five. Then we took in a neighbor girl and we were a family of six! Family friends were struggling so I took on cooking and cleaning for them.
I struggled, it was hard, I did it, but my attitude was awful. I raised my voice at my kids when they didn’t do their chores in a timely manner. I complained to my husband about everything I had to do. I nagged him to do things. I was miserable and I was making my family miserable.
I remember one day saying “God, something has to change!” and in my head, I heard “yes, you do.” Uuughh……that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I knew it was right though. I said “ok, but you are going to have to help me!”
It was then that I came up with my mantra. “Make every room better, every time you are in it, even if it is just to smile.”. I repeat that over and over in my head as I move about my house. Now, I don’t know if smiling in an empty room really makes the room better, but I know it makes my attitude about cleaning and serving my family better!
When I began to do that, my heart started to change. Love gives. I wanted to serve and bless my family. I began to develop a system to keep our house clean without stress. It made such a difference in our home! It was then that people would comment on how beautiful our home was! It wasn’t just clean. It felt peaceful.
We can learn every trick in the book about cleaning and organizing and making things look nice, but if all we have is a clean house and a resentful attitude it will be felt. Your family will feel it, your guests will feel it.
“My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,”
Isaiah 32:18 NKJV
I am far from perfect and I still have to pray and overcome a bad attitude now and then. I get tired, sometimes exhausted and need to remind myself that my time with my kids is short. It is my heart’s desire to bless my family as much as I can, as long as I can. To create happy, loving memories of a home with that “feeling”.
We have all heard that “Cleaning with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos”! It’s funny, can be true, but it doesn’t have to be.
What if I told you that you can have toddlers, teens and in between and still have a clean house without screaming and yelling. In fact, don’t do that! That will most likely defeat the purpose.
Is it hard work? It can be at first, but mostly the hard part is the training yourself and being consistent. The hard work is not you running around following all the children and picking up after them or nagging them non stop!
The key is routine, habits, consistency and discipline. (For you and your children).
Be an example. If you don’t make your bed, take care of your coat when you come home, or put your shoes away….. Why would they? I can’t stress this enough. Children do what you do, not what you say.
Let them see you clean your bathroom, do the dishes right after dinner, take the trash out, etc. Always put your things away before doing something else and always go to bed with a clean and tidy room. Let them see your routines and good habits.
I have heard all too often that when your kids are little it’s ok to have a messy house. Is it? What life skills are you teaching them? Let them see what work is. Impart a good work ethic. Have them help! You are not denying them time with you. You are teaching them something invaluable for life just by letting them see you have good habits. It’s ok to make them wait a minute. When they want something and you are just finishing the dishes, it is ok to say ” Ok, honey. I will get that for you as soon as I am finished.” Learning a bit of patience and noticing that other people are doing things are important for them too.
Let them know what is expected of them. Outline for them what they are supposed to do and when. Make a chart, Send them a list that they keep on their phone. Tell them that you expect them to clean up their toys after each activity. Tell them they are responsible to make their bed. Tell them they are to do homework immediately after school. Be specific. Have an attitude that tells them that you believe in them. If they think you don’t think they will do it, they won’t. If you don’t tell them it is expected of them, they won’t do it.
Break it down. Kids, and for that matter big people, come in all different personality types. I can tell a room full of 2-3-year-olds to clean up and I am going to see a lot of different responses. Some will start putting things away in all the wrong places, some will walk around dazed and confused with a toy in hand, some will pick up a toy to put away and then forget and start playing with it. Sometimes there is even that kid that eagerly puts everything away in the right places after the other kids have dumped them in all wonky.
You can’t send that kid that picks up the toy and starts playing with it to his room when he is 10 and expect him to clean the giant mess on his own. Not happening. Most kids need some guidance. Even if you can’t stand there in the room, you can break it down for them. “Go pick up all your books and put them in the shelf and then come tell me when that is done.” “Now go find all the legos and put them in the box.” You are teaching them great problem-solving and organizing skills this way without overwhelming them.
Assume the best of them. If they left their backpack on the couch, just say, matter-of-factly, “Susan you must have forgotten to put your backpack away, I know you are normally good about that. Would you please take care of that?) They will respond better to that than telling them once again they have failed just like you thought. Not that you would say it that way, but they often hear that. This way they are still hearing what you expect of them and that you believe they are well-intentioned and worthy of trust. They will try to rise to that.
Be the parent. “She wouldn’t let me do her hair.” I couldn’t get him to put his coat on.” “All they will eat is chicken nuggets so that is what I have to make.” This might not make me very popular but, be the parent. When they are told to pick up the toys, they need to do it. If they are told to sit at the table all through dinner, they need to do it. Kids don’t know what is best, they don’t know what is good for them. That is why God gave them parents to teach them and train them.
If I rob a convenience store and the cops show up and say “Freeze! ” and I don’t….. Do you think they are going to shrug and say “She wouldn’t do what we said.”? Or will they offer me a candy bar and say if you freeze you can have this! No, I am going to get a really quick lesson in consequences!
It is not fair to let our kids go through childhood thinking that if they throw a fit or refuse to do things that they get their way. Life just isn’t like that. I won’t get on a political soapbox, but let’s just say I believe that is a lot of why our country is the way it is today.
Consequences for not obeying, refusing to listen will nip those in the bud. You have to be consistent though. If you aren’t …. well, kids know. Having to dish out a consequence a few times to have your kid respect what you say is so much kinder than forever after nagging, yelling and the constant power struggle. Better for both of you! Your child obeying you the first time you say something might just save his life someday. You are the parent! You are in charge.
Kids respect what you inspect. You do need to have a good expectation of your kids, but if you never check to make sure they have followed through on what is expected, they WILL notice. At 15, you obviously don’t have to check to see if he’s brushing his teeth ( I hope) but at 6 you sure do. Your 8-year-old child still needs reminders and supervision to get morning routines done and get off to school. Kids need to have homework checked. You show your kids that you are interested and that you care by checking to see they’ve done what is expected.
Praise for a job well done. When kids hear praise for what they did well, they want to continue doing it. That goes for all people, little ones and big ones! When your two-year-old puts his toys back, tell him how great a job he did! When she “makes” her bed, tell her how proud you are of her. (Don’t fix it… at least not in front of her!) If your teen cleans her room, tell her it looks nice!
I personally don’t believe in an allowance for daily things that are expected. Those are things that are just part of life for us and for them. If you want to teach the value of money and work then pay them for extra things like raking leaves, pulling weeds, that sort of thing. No one pays me for brushing my teeth and making my bed. Paying them for things like that gives them the idea they are doing it for YOU, not because it is just a life skill.
Give grace. be kind, be thoughtful. Have you ever had a really rough day? Of course. We all have! On those days that you didn’t seem to get anything done and things just didn’t go as planned, wouldn’t it be nice if someone took one of those things off your list for you and did it?
When your little one is having a harder day than usual; when the kids at school called her names or the spelling test was harder than she thought, be thoughtful and help her tidy her room before bed or turn her bed down for her.
Remember what it was like to be a teenager? I do! It was the worst thing EVER. Teens go through so much! The stress of changing hormones that they don’t even understand, horrible peer pressure, self-esteem is tough, other teens are not the least bit kind. They are required to make huge life decisions, do an enormous amount of difficult school work and do it well to get into schools they want to get into plus hold jobs too! It is a LOT!
When your teen is having a particularly rough day and they rushed out without making their bed, make it for them! Do a load of laundry and put it away for them! Make them feel that home is a safe place to be. A place where they feel loved and accepted even if they don’t quite get all their chores done now and then. Of course, respect their space. Make home a place they want to be.
By teaching your children the skills to organize and clean and giving them grace and love when they need it you are giving them the skills and character to be amazing successful people that this world so needs!
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
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We all know someone whose home we are in awe of. That home that always seems to be perfectly clean no matter when you drop in.
How do they do that? What kind of magic is it?! Their magic is in their habits!
Here is a list of habits that I have compiled that people with clean homes do. If you would like to have a home that is always in a state of “near company ready”, try adopting these habits.
Put it back, don’t put it down. When working on a project or even just writing a note or curling your hair, put it all away before you walk away.
Declutter. Live more with less. A home with less “stuff” gets less messy. You can’t clean clutter.
Everything has a home and everything in it’s home. If it doesn’t have a home, either make a home or toss it. Just like habit number one says, put it back. Always return things to their proper home.
Always make your bed. There are so many good reasons to make your bed, but most importantly it makes the room look better even if that is all that is done.
Empty the dishwasher ASAP. A dishwasher full of clean dishes is a sure fire way to have dishes left in the sink.
Never leave dishes in the sink. See above! Dishes in the sink spreads to dishes on the counter, none of which looks tidy. Your sink is just like your bed but in the kitchen. If it looks nice it helps the rest of the room look nice.
Never leave a room empty-handed. When walking about the house, always take a look around before leaving a room and notice if there is something that needs to go to the room you are going to. I have a saying…”Always improve the room you are in, even if it’s just a smile.” If you can’t find anything out of place in a room, just smile and make it a happy place to be!
Do it now! Don’t wait to pick up that receipt that fell on the garage floor, do it now. Don’t wait to hang up your coat, do it now. Don’t wait to sort through today’s mail, do it now… most of it goes in the trash anyway! Most things take far less time to do than we think.
Work smart, not hard. Clean the shower while you are in it. Keep cleaners where you will need them. Clean the fridge one shelf at a time instead of all at once. Use a shared app with the family for groceries and to do lists. Cozi is my favorite! Check it out here!
Do a load of laundry a day. Small loads of laundry done daily are much more manageable than mountains of laundry done on the weekends.
Reset. Before bed, before leaving the house, after the kids go to school or go down for a nap, Reset! Reset the room. Fix blankets and pillows on the couch, straighten books on the coffee table, put the slippers or shoes in the basket, and straighten the rug. Make it a beautiful place to come back to.
Respect your home and the people in it. Even if you don’t care about your coat on the couch or dishes in the sink, someone else does. A clean home is a peaceful home. Respect each other by picking up after yourself and helping out. Teach your children this from the time they are young. Even if it’s not our favorite thing to do, we do it to show respect and kindness to each other.
There ya have it! I hope you can pick up a few of those habits to help you have a super clean and happy home too!
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Boxes. Cardboard boxes. Sometimes taped together to make a particular shape. A shoebox, a cereal box cut to the right height, toilet paper tubes taped together.
When I was newly married we had next to nothing. Then we had three children and had even less. But we managed! I didn’t have money to spend on Rubbermaid boxes or cute baskets to organize my things. It really never crossed my mind! I just made do with what I had to organize our things. So cardboard, packing tape, and yogurt containers were often used as “organizational tools”.
I share this to say, don’t wait until you can find the right baskets or till you can afford the containers for the pantry. Declutter, see what you have left, decide what shape and size things you need and then find a shoe box or a salad bowl and use that for now. Write down in your notes in your phone the exact size etc of the things you need. Next time you are at Walmart or Target you know exactly what you are looking for. Do not buy a bunch of cute baskets and wooden boxes before you know what you need!
You don’t need money to organize. If you never get the perfect basket and your bathroom is primarily organized by shoe boxes and packing tape…. guess what?! It’s still organized. Currently, the drawer that holds my cleanser, moisturizer, deodorant, contacts and the like is completely coordinated with boxes taped together to make dividers. Classy, right?! At least it is organized!
I am sure by now you all have heard of Marie Kondo. If you haven’t, she is a Japanese woman with an incredible amount of wisdom about decluttering and living a simple clean life. I will link her book here. You can click on the image to order from Amazon if you are interested! She has a show on Netflix called “Tidying Up”.
She does suggest that you do huge decluttering sessions and I don’t find that very feasible. As much as I would LIKE to do that I don’t have a lot of time for that and I don’t imagine you do either.
Declutter in a small area every day. Instead of putting off decluttering at all until you have time to pull everything out of each room of the house, I suggest doing little bits every day or as often as possible. Yes, it will take a long while to get through everything, but at least you will be making progress.
Decluttering is not a one and done. Hopefully next time you declutter and reorganize the junk drawer it will be much better, but you are going to have to do it again.
If you have the time and inclination to go all out… don’t have the kids at home, have pizza planned for dinner and have help! The likelihood of becoming overwhelmed is very possible so it is imperative to have a friend to help you.
Don’t start it if you can’t finish it! Don’t pull everything out of a dresser or the kitchen cupboards if you only have an hour to do it. Make sure you have the time to completely finish. Take it out, sort it, put it back, bag up garbage and take it to the trash, bag up donations and take them to a thrift store or charity of your choice. Do NOT leave donations in a bag in the living room or by the front door. Get it out! Decluttering is supposed to make your home less chaotic and more peaceful. A pile of junk left on the kitchen table when you got tired of doing it, is just the opposite.
Here is a super great article on what NOT to do when decluttering! Check it out!
The new year is fast approaching and it is the time when people begin to think of change. New habits they want to start, old ones they want to break.
I have not been a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They sound good, but really they are just a way of procrastinating what we know we should be doing now, until the first of January. We will probably spend money to lose weight or exercise or start some new craft or hobby and then by March, if we are lucky to make it that long, we are back to where we were but with less money and nothing to show for it. I am not trying to be a Debbie downer here, but let’s face it, it is pretty typical.
I am very guilty of this myself, which is why I haven’t been a resolution enthusiast and most definitely don’t share my attempt at resolve to change an area of my life on social media. No one likes to fail publicly!
I am currently reading James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read! If you want to really learn how to change your habits and change your life you need to get this book! It is powerful! Because of this book, I may change my opinion and actually make some New Year’s Resolutions this coming year and stick to them! I am learning so much!
We often we fail to follow through with our efforts to change because although we WISH to change, we don’t really WANT to. Even though we don’t like the habit or behavior we wish to change, it is comfortable. Change is hard. We may be afraid of change. It may be subconscious. We may not feel we deserve it. We got there for a reason. It may require working through those issues before change can happen.
Another reason our resolutions flop is because we don’t know how to go about changing! We rely on sheer willpower to make huge changes in our lives. When we are tired, stressed, hungry, sad, our willpower is the first of our character traits to bail on us! Our brain is trained to make us feel better and protect us. It doesn’t know that a quart of ice cream at 10pm is a bad thing. It just wants us to be ok.
There are some amazing habit hacks that you can use to help you actually stick to those resolutions!
Make your new habit as fun and attractive as possible! Buy a new pair of walking shoes or a cookbook.
Reward yourself! Pay yourself each time you work out and use that money for a spa day or for something you want.
Don’t make your new habit so difficult that you are defeated before you start. Go to the gym a couple times a week, not 6 days a week for two hours a day! Make it easy!
Remove any obstacles that would give you an excuse to not follow through. Set out your gym clothes at night. Get rid of all the junk food in the house.
If you are trying to stop watching so much TV put the remote in another room or on top of a shelf that you can’t reach well.
Change your routine. If you always have cookies after dinner and you want to stop, immediately after dinner, do something else! Go for a walk. Take a bath.
Most of those things relate to weight loss and healthy living but you can apply those principles to anything!
Those are just a few small things that are mentioned in this book. There is a wealth of knowledge in it!
You can purchase it here!
I am following his blog as well. It is always fascinating and I learn something new every time I read a new article. I am kind of a nerd when it comes to self-improvement, productivity, motivation and that sort of thing. If you are into that, you really should check it out!
If you are wanting to make a change in the New Year, whether in your home, in the way you go about housekeeping, or in your health or whatever it is you want to change, now actually is a good time to start planning and moving in that direction. With the proper tools and knowledge, you will be able to achieve your goals!
Check the routines page here on my blog for the basics to help you stay on track!
Get the Atomic Habits to help you learn how to best keep those habits in place
I am a list person! I love “to do lists” and “honey-do lists” and “things I want to make lists” and “grocery lists”. For some though, lists are overwhelming and discouraging. They are not a challenge but instead just daunting, and they are likely to give up before they start. If that is you, I want to help you!
First of all, your daily routines are going to become HABIT and you won’t need a list to tell you to do it. You may need to remind yourself for a while with sticky notes or index cards until your habits are set in stone but eventually, they are like breathing. That is the whole point! You won’t have to think about it! (If you haven’t read the daily routines on my blog, go do that now! Check in the main menu! )
If you get overwhelmed by lists, I am willing to bet that you put everything from “Clean the garage” to “feed the cat” on your list of things to do today. Your list is longer than your arm and you have work, your child has ball practice and you have to make cookies for the bake sale. Not a good day for cleaning the garage or anything else that is going to take more than five minutes to accomplish. That list, although some things like “feed the cat” need to happen today, is way too much and it is discouraging right off.
Even if you don’t think you are a “list person”, lists can be very helpful. Going to the store without a grocery list is like a dizzy blindfolded kid trying to hit a pinata. Good luck! If you don’t make a list of Christmas gifts to buy, you are guaranteed to forget someone. Awkward!!! Lists are very important!
Sometimes our minds get so busy thinking of all the things we need to do that we can’t focus or even sleep well. Putting those things in writing on a list helps to get it out of our brain and onto paper so you can rest or focus fully at the task at hand.
Lists help you feel grounded and less scattered. Lists allow you to be able to make a plan.
The trick to not getting overwhelmed with lists is to not put everything on the same list and don’t expect to get everything on your list done by lunchtime. You can have lists for things you don’t plan to have finished until next year!
Today I want you to take just a few minutes and start a “crockpot list”. Yes, a “crockpot list”! This is a list of things that you would eventually like to get done but aren’t vital do NOW! Things that can sit and “cook” for a while. This is not a list that you are to look at and feel pressured by. This is a list that you can look at next time you find yourself at home for an afternoon and you have two hours free….what on that list can you get done? Maybe your husband agreed to help you do some household things for one hour, what on that list can you do? You are waiting for a friend and they call and say they are running fifteen minutes late. There is a lot of things you can do in fifteen minutes instead of staring at the clock!
My “Crockpot List” looks like this:
Clean out/tidy the secretary desk (desk where we keep bills, coupons, envelopes, stamps etc.)
Clean and organize the corner cupboards in my kitchen
Work on my cookbook
Defrost the chest freezer and organize
Work on my book
Organize the craft supplies
Post the items I would like to sell on Marketplace
Scan old photos and save on my computer
Clean the junk drawer
Tidy the coat closet
Break down boxes to fit in the recycle bin
Make your crockpot list and keep it either in your day planner or the side of the fridge, where ever you will find it next time you have a few moments to work on something. A “Crockpot List” will help you be more productive and a better time manager!
Psssst…… Wanna know a secret??! My house isn’t ALL that clean. You can’t eat off my floors, and my fridge is crowded and a lot of the baseboards are dirty. My desk has kids workbooks and coloring pages on it and there are clothes to be mended on top of my sewing table. We won’t talk about the garage.
We live here. I have a daycare here. There is a lot going on in this house at all times. If you are looking for how to keep your house looking like Martha Stewart’s house, this is the wrong place.
If you want a seemingly effortless tidy home without stress, I am so glad you are here!!
It took me a long time to start this blog because I was afraid of being judged and afraid people would expect me to have a perfect home if I talked about ways to clean your home and keep it clean. I finally went for it, but I want you to know… my house isn’t perfect! In fact, there may be a lot of people reading this that have a cleaner home than I do!
The point of this blog is to help you not have house cleaning rule your life. To do house KEEPING, not house CLEANING.
I will welcome you to my home at any time of the day. My house may have toys in the living room and kids everywhere but the dishes will be done and the bathrooms will be clean. It IS possible to have a clean and tidy home with kids!!
The kitchen is clean after breakfast!
All the toys are picked up before we head outside to play!
The blinds are probably dusty….. I will get there. That’s ok. My routines keep my house clean. When I have a moment, if all six kids are asleep at the same time, I may or may not clean the blinds. The important things are taken care of.
My house will always be moments away from company ready and I welcome you all but don’t expect it to pass a white glove test! It will be tidy and mostly clutter free and I won’t mind at all if you want to use my bathroom. The oven may need to be cleaned and crumbs in the silverware drawer. I have routines for that too and will get to it. I am not going to knock myself out to have everything done all the time and all at once and I don’t want you to either!
So, if you are looking for ways to have your blinds clean and the slider track look brand new, there are lots of blogs for that. I am just here to help you have a tidy home you don’t have to stress about and to teach you habits that make that happen so that you can enjoy the truly important things in life! I promise you, it IS possible!
Check out my routine page and set your Self Cleaning House in motion! Once those basic routines are in cement then we will move on to things like slider tracks and oven cleaning!
Right now, go do your daily routines and then go play with your kids and make some memories.
The kids are back in school! My granddaughter is in 2nd grade this year. Time sure flies! The first week of school is always really exciting and she is anxious to get up and be ready for school and out the door on time. After that, it starts to get…. a little less exciting. Establishing good routines that first week is super important, and then making sure that they keep it up is important too!
Teaching life skills is one of the most important jobs we have as parents.
Teaching routines, goal setting, and self-discipline sets your kids up for success!
Even though I know my routines inside out and backward, I, as an adult, still like checking each item off and feeling successful first thing in the morning.
It is just as important for our kids to feel that way! Having a list, chart, whiteboard or some other way for them to mark off completed items, helps them feel successful, helps them to know exactly what is expected of them, keeps you from having to tell them over and over to do each item and it teaches self-discipline. Giving them some things that are super simple, especially at a young age, helps them feel good because it is not overwhelming and they have that sense of satisfaction right away. “Look Mom! I already have two things checked off my list!” Even though those two things were get dressed and brush their teeth, we need to let them feel that sense of accomplishment. It will encourage them to achieve more for that good feeling and a good work ethic is born! That sets them up for success later in life!
It’s up to you if you want to reward them for doing chores or routines. My own personal opinion is that it is important to teach them to feel the satisfaction of a job well done and get praise and or appreciation from you, not money. No one pays me to clean my house, unfortunately! It would be much harder for me to have a good attitude about doing it for simply the satisfaction of having a clean home if I had learned that everything I do demands compensation to be worthwhile. It’s extremely important to remember to praise and thank your children for the jobs they do. Don’t forget that we are trying to teach them to feel good about a job well done.
That being said, I think it is a very good life lesson when kids are compensated for doing things above and beyond what is laid out and expected of them. Their routines and normal chores should be expected, but raking the yard or weeding the garden may be a great way for them to earn money for something they really want. Money, or whatever has been chosen as payment for tasks, is a great way to teach them about finances and is extremely motivating.
Here is an excellent short read from Dave Ramsey on this topic!
Take a moment to thank your child and praise him for making his bed or even brushing his teeth today and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back and really feel good about what you got done too! Good job!! You are teaching your kids habits that will benefit them for life!
I have been trying a new thing!! I had heard how great fermented veggies were for your gut health and digestion. I wanted to try it! I am always up for a new experiment. The first batch I did was Brussels sprouts. That was the only fresh veggie I had on hand. I wouldn’t recommend them! They were…ok. If you are a fan of raw Brussels sprouts then maybe you would like them. This batch I am very excited about! Cauliflower!
This is a picture on day 3. It is starting to get cloudy! That is just what it is supposed to do!
Fresh vegetable of choice:cauliflowercucumber, carrots, green beans, asparagus, radishes, whatever suits your fancy
1 1/2tablespoonsea salt
bay leaf, peppercorns, jalapenos, or other spices you want to use.
1leafcabbageor small ziplock baggie of rice
1wide mouth mason jar with lid
Stir the salt and water together until dissolved.
Pour the salt water over the vegetables leaving 1/2″ of headspace. Tap jar on counter and wiggle around to get rid of air bubbles and pockets.
Fold a small cabbage leaf and press it down on top of the vegetables so that it keeps the vegetables submerged in the salt water. or put a bit of rice in a snack ziplock bag removing all the air and place on top of vegetables to keep the vegetables submerged.
Close the lid on the jar tightly and place it out of direct sunlight in a relatively moderate temperature (68-75 degrees).
You will start to see some bubbling around day 2 or so. After day 2, over a sink (it will kinda fizz and leak as you begin to open it), gently loosen the lid to let some of the gas escape once or twice a day.
The vegetables are ready anywhere from day 4-10. The longer they sit, the tangier they’ll be. Taste them starting on day 4 to figure out your preference. I like them best around day 5 or so.
Once you decide they’re the level of sourness you’re looking for, place the jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for a couple of months.
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