So, it’s back-to-school time. Some of you are crying – some of you are jumping for joy – some of you are on a roller-coaster of emotions and are just trying to stay sane. I get it – I’m right there with ya. Whether you’re sobbing or giggling, one thing is pretty universal – WE WANT STRUCTURE!
As awesome as summer is, there comes a point (for most of us, anyway) where we need a routine again. We crave time-schedules and organization! I wasn’t good with anything this summer except enjoying the opposite of that – laziness, spontaneity, and fun was the name of the game. We fully enjoyed our summer off.
However, that has come to an end and my need for normalcy has taken over. My house needs to be run better. Being the Chief Operating Officer, it is my job to come up with ideas where our four daughters (ranging in ages from 4 to 10 yrs) will WANT to do their part and help keep me from mumbling “why do I even try” to myself all day.
My first order of business, as I blogged about months ago, was getting advice from someone who had tried and tested some great things themselves. That came in the form of the book “Cleaning House”. I learned a lot from the author, Kay Wills Wyma, and have put several of her practices into place in our home. I have also looked on Pinterest, which I have to say is an amazing TOOL – it just took me a while to actually USE it that way! I would pin and pin, but never DO…not anymore!
After posting some pictures of the things I’m doing on Instagram (roxannefelts) and on Facebook, I started getting messages and comments on how, why, where, etc. I thought I would post them here to say how exactly I use them…. enjoy! But, make sure to tell me if you do any of these and how they work for you – or how you did it differently to work for your particular family!
First thing… The weekly meal planner. This is a MUST-HAVE in our house! With so many activities (dance, sports, City Council, etc.) we have to coordinate with what is going on and I don’t need to be scrambling for something to make last-minute. As organized as I’ve TRIED to be in the past, I was still coming up short in this department. So, I searched for a solution and found a lot of great ideas on Pinterest. I tweaked a little and this is how mine ended up…
The board is an “Everyday Display” from Creative Memories (it’s magnetic) that I had and I wasn’t using it for anything. I try to use what I have, so this worked wonderfully! I used burlap for the background and used some scrapbooking letters for “Menu” and “recipes”. The box that holds the recipe cards is from a big Crayola box – I just cut the lid off and wrapped it in cute duct tape. The smaller box is actually one of the smaller boxes from inside the bigger box of crayons – it holds the meal ideas that will be clipped on to the days-of-the-week at the bottom. I also used scrapbooking letters for days of the week.
On Sunday evenings, we will get together as a family to plan the week’s meals – everyone will be involved and gets to put in their two cents. I will make my shopping list on Monday mornings after the kids go to school and make my trip to the store. Plus, if they want to know what we are having on a particular evening, I won’t have to answer the question 4 (or more) times – they can ask the board.
These are my chore boards…
Although I am only showing three of them, I made one for each of our four girls. They’re pretty simple – get a frame (these are 12×12 openings); get some scrapbook paper or cardstock and decorate to your liking. I let each girl choose their colors and decorations so that it was more “theirs”. I use a dry erase marker to check off their chores and if they have done everything they’re supposed to do at the end of the day, they get to keep their dollar (see previous blog about Cleaning House to learn more about the “dollar jars”).
Side-note: You may wonder why “Pick out clothes” is such a big deal… spend some time with one of our 7 yr old twins who cries on a daily basis about why she doesn’t want to wear a particular item of clothing and you will understand.
Now to the “Job Board”, which is an idea I got from that fabulous book I talked about earlier. There are so many different ways to do this, but this is what I came up with and it’s SUPER-simple…
Once again, I used the Everyday Display – used black burlap for the background – scrapbooking letters/paper – and bought some colorful clothespins to hold the jobs. Jobs range from “Clean up backyard” (We have big dogs who make a big mess) to “Take out Trash” and everything in between. Each job has a dollar amount on the other side. These are first-come, first-serve and will be updated periodically, so they will have to check the board on a regular basis if they are wanting to earn some extra money (or I will have to do it if I am wanting to SAVE some money!). If there is a bigger job, like cleaning all the windows, they can split the job and the money. Day 1 of having this little gem in the house and four of the jobs were already done PLUS stuff that wasn’t on there! SCORE!
I’m not an organized mom, as much as I would LOVE to say that I am. I struggle to keep my house tidy and I honestly need all the help I can get! I don’t want to hire a housekeeper, as I am a stay-at-home-mom and feel like I can do it myself – PLUS, I want my kids to learn responsibility and work-ethic. I feel like this is a good start. Stay tuned – I will hopefully have some more little nuggets of awesomeness for you.