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Family planning and organization is really the focus here and we try to stay concentrated on those tools and resources to really help with this goal.  We have featured some very useful computer programs, tablet applications and phone apps, all geared to getting things organized and putting your family on the right track. We do, however, like to have a little fun now and again.

If you want to have a little fun and relax from these organization tools and resources, and if you like to play games, you might want to consider free slots on Facebook. It’s the perfect way to unwind and give some fun slot games a try. You might not be able to hit Vegas or Atlantic City as often as you would like, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play some great slot games.

The graphics and interface for this slot app on Facebook is pretty remarkable. I started playing for a bit and really had a great time, getting quite caught up with the game and the action. I shared the app with a few of my friends and family and they also had a good time playing.  The game became really quite addicting and I spent a good bit of time on it.

It’s obviously important to use your time wisely and plan accordingly to organize your family and get things planned and scheduled. However, you need a little down time to unwind and relax. Considering the assorted ways we use our time online, including a lot of the useful apps and programs, not to mention printable chore charts and other fun worksheets, there are more than enough ways to stay busy online. But, you never know if you’re just going to be disappointed or not. With the free slot app on Facebook, you’ll at least know you can have a good time and get your slot machine fix in.

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Spring CleaningIt’s spring cleaning time again…or at least time to start thinking about a spring cleaning checklist.  The days are getting longer, the weather is starting to warm up a bit and there’s no better time to start organizing yourself to tackle the dust bunnies, wipe down your dirty walls and organize the closet.  It’s time to let the light in, reduce the clutter and get control of your house again.

The key to a good spring cleaning is to not overwhelm yourself so much that you put the entire cleaning project off for another day.  Instead, try to organize the cleaning so that you tackle different sections of the house at once or different types of cleaning at the same time.  When you have the duster out to clean the ceiling fans and knick-knacks it’s a good time to hit the plants and bookshelves.

Here’s a list of just a few of the basic tasks to get you started.  You can find some printable checklists below.

In the Kitchen

  • Empty out the refrigerator and the freezer.
  • Vacuum under the fridge around the coils behind the grill.
  • Wipe the top of the fridge off.
  • Wipe down all of the seals around the doors.
  • Clean the inside of the microwave.  Hint ~  Heat up a cup of water for a couple of minutes to build up some steam first…it makes cleaning much easier.

In the Bedroom

  • Clean out those closets.  Don’t hold back…if you haven’t worn it in a few years, you probably aren’t going to start now. Get everything out of the closet and thoroughly vacuum the far corners.
  • Flip over and turn your mattress.  While you’re at it, move the bed frame out of the way and vacuum or dust under it.  You might even find that old, missing sock you lost last year.
  • Take the comforter or bedspread to the cleaners.
  • Throw out all those old toys your kids haven’t played with in years.
  • Get blocks of cedar to help keep the moths away and things smelling fresh.

Elsewhere

  • Dust and wipe down all of the ceiling fans in house.
  • Take your screens down, hose them off outside and wipe them down with warm soap and water.
  • Dust your lampshades.
  • Remove all of the cushions and pillows from your couch and chairs and vacuum this out.  You might even find some money here!
  • Clean your windows inside and out.
  • Wipe down the tops of all door frames.
  • Test all of your fire alarms and change the batteries if needed.
  • Change the filters on your air conditioner.
  • Get new entry mats at every entrance.
  • Use a magic eraser to get those pesky scuff marks off of walls.

For the Hardcore

  • Remove and clean all the faucet aerators.
  • Change the pollen filter in your car.
  • Change the shelf liners in your drawers

Remember

  • Donate anything you don’t want or can’t use.
  • If you find something you haven’t seen in years or forgot you had…chances are you don’t need it.
  • Start from the top and work your way down.  Vacuum the dust that has settled from your marathon dusting session.
  • Remember that a clean home makes for a healthy one.  You can literally breath easier once your house is clean.

More

Check out some earlier articles on spring cleaning:


Printable Spring Cleaning Checklists

Another Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring Gardening To Do List

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Another busy mom shares her tips for keeping her family’s schedule and home together. . Today’s featured busy mom is Isabel Isidro Mom of three balancing parenting and co running a business.

Isabel Isidro is a mother of three boys, ages 7, 4 and 2. She is also the co-founder of PowerHomeBiz.com, a 10-year old site for home business owners and solo entrepreneurs, and runs WomenHomeBusiness.com and LearningfromBigBoys.com. She just tries to live and learn each day – not always succeeding, but always trying.

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My kids are 7, 5 and 2 — and they all go to school. The two youngest are home by lunchtime while the eldest spends the full day in school.

We have a strict schedule in the house, and the kids know it. The younger boys take a nap in the afternoon. They play or relax in the afternoon after school, and one of their favorite activities is playing Wii with their father. The kids then eat dinner, and take a bath. Then from 7:00-8:30 pm, it’s their study and reading time.

I give them the materials they need to work on and practice with, and they choose the books they want to read. By 8:30 pm, they’re on bed and ready to sleep. They’re early risers, and wake up anywhere from 5:30-6:30 am – even on weekends! None in the family are late sleepers.

To the extent possible, we don’t do any extracurricular activities during the weekdays, only weekends. School is tough already for the kids, and we’d like them to have time to rest, have fun, play with each other and just be kids.

Saturdays, though, are when things go crazy with their schedules. They have various lessons, and by lunchtime, I am tired from driving around the area going from one lesson to the next. However, in the afternoon, we always make it a point to go to the library to pick up the books that they’ll read for the week.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
No. I used various dayplanners – from the cheapest to the most expensive leather bound planners. I even attended a daylong seminar by one of the big businesses in dayplanning business on how to organize and plan your day using their dayplanning system.

But none really worked for me. I will be “good” and use the planner judiciously for a few weeks, or even a month. And then nada — blank pages after that.

For one, I need something that I can carry with me all the time, not some bulky planner that sits nicely on a desk but impractical to be carried in my purse around. My purse is heavy enough as it is with all the kids’ stuff, and having a bulky planner does not work.

Do you own a blackberry?
Not a Blackberry, but I use an iPhone with an app for my to-do lists for the day. It’s been very effective for me. I carry my phone all the time, and having my things to do and scheduler on the same small device allowed me to keep track of what I need to do for the day. I just love it!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
You need to be a goddess of multi tasking and organization. Find the best strategy that works for you and your family.

For me, I need to spend a little time the night before thinking what the family needs to do for the day – e.g. making sure the kids have put their assignments in their bags. Otherwise, I’d forget it! I spend a little time putting my list in my iPhone’s to-do app. Read More→

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Guest Post by Lisa Gessert

This is a great time to get yourself organized.
This time of year everyone is switching closets from summer to winter and getting ready for the holidays that always seem to come too quickly…here are some Helpful Hints and Tips and a few Misconceptions to Keep You Organized.
organizedmomlist
Myth #1
My home HAS to be clean to be organized:

There are many days my home could use a cleaning, dusting, vacuuming but I am still organized. People think if their home is dirty or messy that it isn’t organized.

Myth#2
Once I organize my closet, draw, or room it should stay that way:

Your closets and draws need attention a few times a year. the more you use that space the more attention it needs. Clothes closets need to be weeded out twice a year, when you change your wardrobe from summer to winter and then winter to summer.
This is a great time to get rid of the clothes you aren’t wearing.
Draws you use more frequently need to be weeded out more often.

Myth #3
I can do my bills anywhere.
Create a spot where you can have some quiet time.
Make sure you have stamps, letter opener, envelopes, pens etc.
Keep a simple file draw or a file carry case and keep bills for only 1 year and tax papers for 6 years.
A simple file system is all you need to keep your bills under control.

Time management and space management is important to live a stress free life. Remember once you have set up a new system to keep organized, give yourself at least 6 weeks to get accustomed to the new routine.

Lisa Gessert is a professional organizer at Organizing Buzz.

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