Articles for family

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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Memories or Maybe – What’s Your Clutter?

It seems that a lot of our excess clutter can fall in to two categories: things from the past or things that we might do in the future. The most important things in our lives are those that are with us in the present: those items we use frequently and enjoy regularly. These are items we use for daily tasks as well as items we actually use for self-improvement (not hope to or plan to use). Being stuck in the past or dreaming of the future creates mental and physical clutter.

Do you hear yourself saying?

I can’t let that go, it belonged to…

That was a gift, so I have to keep it…

I loved that…

I used that all the time…

That was my favorite…

I paid a lot of money for that

These are statements related to your past. Our emotions tied to our past or someone else’s in the case of inherited goods leads us to cling to these items.

The occasional trip down memory lane is pleasant but when we overly surround ourselves with the thoughts and feelings of the past we stifle our growth as individuals. Examples of these items are baby clothes, wedding videos/paraphernalia from failed marriages, gifts and inherited items that do not suit our taste/needs. Clothes, toys, records/tapes from youth are others. Read More→

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As a single mother with three children its easy to get burned out and need a little time on my own to get caught up with work, home and SLEEP.

I have paired up with three other moms and started an overnight babysitting exchange . Here’s how it works; one weekend each month I host a sleep over for all three families (8 children). This evening usually consists of playing a game, followed by movies and a sleep out on the living room floor in sleeping bags. The following morning I pull out my waffle makers and the children feast on waffles and oranges.

Each mother hosts a pajama party at her home as well. Leaving me with two glorious evenings to clean, blog, even sleep. One of the mothers uses her evening to have date nights with her husband and the other to work on school assignments.

So how do you start a babysitting exchange ? Start by determining your needs. An exchange will work best if you can find families needing the same type of help you need. When each family has different needs (over night versus Saturday mornings) the exchage can become complicated. Begin asking around to friends, moms at different events to see who all might be interested in starting a childcare exchange network with the same requirement as you.

Planning a weekend away with your partner or husband ? Look for a family who may also like to consider a weekend away. If you don’t have friends you know well enough for an over night exchange, consider short term babysitting swaps or groups.

I have an exchange with another mother who like me needs to attend her children’s school PAC meeting each month. My meeting is the first  of each month hers is the second Tuesday. This exchange works great 10 swaps a year all pre-booked. We drop our children with their pajama’s and tooth brushes and pick them up ready for bed.

The Baby sitter exchange offers a venue for meeting other parents looking for childcare exchanges. Be sure to require EACH adult over the age of 16 in each home to have a criminal record check performed. GreatAuPair.com offers Criminal record checks for all of the USA and Canada.

Meet with all the parents ahead of time to discuss, agree upon and write down what each parents responsibilities will be. Be sure to provide information to each parent regarding your children’s likes, dislikes, important medical information, and a secondary emergency contact. Medical release forms should be provided to each member of your exchange.

Utilizing a childcare exchange may help you free up some time in your busy life to care for yourself or catch up on your to do list. You may be surprised how many people are open to the idea of exchanging childcare once you start asking around.

Let me know what sort of childcare exchanges are working for your family.

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I was blessed with the most adorable baby boy. He came in to the world on a chilly morning November in 2003. He was beautiful, elf like with pointy ears and the cutest dimples. He slept that day. He didn’t that night or the next or the next. Four years he never slept for more then three hours in a row. I was a very tired mom. I am still a very tired mom. Take a tired mom and add the morning school rush. That creates a cranky mom.

Alison Miller has some great advice for the morning rush and I stand behind her advice.

“The problem is in what you expect of your daughter. A four-year-old simply cannot organize herself to move as quickly and efficiently as an adult or an older child. She doesn’t yet have a mature understanding of time. She can’t yet remember what she has to do next at any given point. She can’t make a list on paper, let alone in her head. You have to allow plenty of time, and help her through the process.” Alison Miller’s answer to a parent taken from her website Life Seminars .

There are so many ways we can help our children (and those tired cranky moms). We have all heard about the Yummy Mommy movement and like any point of view there are positives and negatives, but putting yourself first so that you are well rested will help your entire family.

Here are a few things that help me with the school rush:

1) Let the children select their own clothing for the next morning as part of your evening routine the night before.

2) Have the children pack their school bags after they finish their evening homework.

3) Give yourself some time before the children wake up. Set your alarm 5 minutes early each day for five days. An extra 25 minutes each morning before your children wake up will allow you to get things done without being rushed and interrupted by children.

4) Turn the TV OFF. Television will slow everyone down and inevitably result in ” MOMMM, just 5 more minutes.” Instead make some upbeat fun music CDs and play them in the morning.

5) Consider your child’s individuality. If your son won’t eat breakfast, stop fighting. Make him a healthy shake or send him to school with a yogurt tube and a granola bar. If your daughter has a hard time waking up each morning, maybe a morning shower would help.

6) Have a “Launch Pad” near your front door. Have everything waiting and ready to go the night before. School bags, agenda’s, shoes, coats, mitts, sunglasses, library books, videos to return.

Please share your tips for the morning rush by commenting below.

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