Sunday, September 16, 2012

Organizing chaos...

Lately I've felt like I was juggling too many balls & dropping them all over the place.

So, today, even though I have deadlines looming and I feel so far behind, I took the day off from school related work and made it a day to reorganize. Aside from the usual cleaning, I made a point to evaluate where most of my time goes and devise some time savers and attempt to organize my household a bit more.

As it turns out, I spend a great deal of time reminding my children of what they need to to do. It's the same half dozen chores EVERY DAY, so I'm not sure why it's so difficult. If I hear "I forgot" one more time, my head may very well explode. Of course, that will just make a mess for me to clean up. So, now we have a handy chore chart with a magnet to move from one spot to another after the job is finished. The after school routine is snack, then homework. Now we will add to it completing the chores on the chart. After that is done, they will have their free time. This way, the amount of free time is determined by them. If they take until bedtime to do their chores, that is their choice. If they don't like the results of that choice, they should choose differently next time. If they do not finish their chores before bedtime, there will be consequences. I'm open to creative suggestions on what they should be.

I also seem to spend a large amount of time either moving their stuff that has been left out, or reminding them to put it away. So, I will no longer be giving reminders. All three of the Bigs are old enough to put their things away consistently. From now on, after they go to bed & while they are at school, I will confiscate belongings that are left out. To get them back, they will choose a slip of paper from our chore can. The chores in the can are jobs that I normally do, but that the kids are more than able to do.  So, either they put their stuff away, or I get extra work out of them. Either way, it's a win for me.

Today, I also started a test run of my new reminder system. Things that I canNOT forget get written on my mirror in dry erase maker (so, pretty much my entire schedule). Appointments/classes are in one color, deadlines in another. I have reminders for the kids written on their bathroom mirror as well. The kids are thrilled with this idea and I'm hopeful that it will really help us keep everything moving along without forgetting things. I particularly like that, as I complete tasks & erase them, I get a visual reminder that I am accomplishing things.

Since my current financial situation is a bit strained, I've been doing everything I can think of to earn money, cut costs, and to make every penny stretch. So, I've been repurposing things as much as possible. It's amazing what you can make yourself or do with things that most people throw away. We want to grill, but only have one of those tabletop things made for 2 we dug a fire pit & lined it with rocks. Instead of buying grass seed, I transplanted grass from my flowerbeds into the bare spots in the yard. There are a million uses for the steel cans that used to hold those canned veggies. An old formula can has been made into our new chore can. Wine glasses that don't belong to a set were turned into beautiful candle holders. An old plastic tote (with lid) has been repurposed as a compost bin in preparation for next spring. My challenge to you is to spend the next week looking for ways to repurpose things at your house & come back to share your innovations.


  1. Replies
    1. I think it will work well for us. I sat down with them & explained it to them. They had 2 hours before bed to put everything away. Implementation of the new system begins when they leave for school in the morning. I'll try to keep you updated on how it works.

  2. I like idea of earning it back. For now mine gave one 'big' chore they rotate once every three weeks, and then a general pick up rule. In order to earn 'alone' Wii time or computer game time they have to do extra chores. How much and how well decides how much time they get! The housework never ends!!

  3. Sound like great ideas to me :) Just gotta stick with it! I like to work on repurposing with food and water