Tuesday, January 29, 2013

6.1 What's Hiding Under the bed?

Cleaning the Kids' Rooms

In case you were wondering, I have not given up on my home organizing goals, I've just been working instead of writing, so here's what we are accomplishing:

Every good organizer will tell you when you go to clean a room start with 3 boxes: 1. Trash it 2. Give it and 3. Keep it. So we gathered our boxes and headed to the kids' rooms. I don't tell my kids "Go clean your room!" because I know that means it will all just get shoved under the bed or in the closet. Instead we turn on some music and dig in together. It becomes a bonding time for us and I know they are actually getting the job done.

1. Little man and Baby girl
Step 1: Letting go of the rocker - My husband bought me that rocking chair when I was pregnant with our oldest 13 years ago. Every time I look at it, so many memories come to mind - sleepless nights with a fussy baby, nursing at all hours of the day and night, reading stories and singing songs. I think that's what I did most in that chair, was rock and sing. But it's time to let go and move on. We don't use the chair anymore, baby girl is almost 3 now. It just takes up space and collects laundry. I still have all my memories, so it's ok to move the chair out to the yard sale pile. Right?!

Step 2: Now that there is a little more room, I moved the little toy self out of the closet, so those two can put their toys on it. Imagine that, what a novel idea?! Now the bottom of the closet is clear except for 2 small crates, they each have one for their shoes.

Step 3: Next, we clear off their dressers of any misc. items. This is where the boxes come in handy because we can get rid of most of the little things that collect on the dressers. Then quickly go thru the drawers and pull out anything that doesn't fit, bag it up for yard sale/donate pile and dust. I also fix their curtain rods and cut up a flat sheet for new curtains.

Step 4: Finally, in this room we clean the floor. You would think this a quick thing, but Baby girl pulls fuzzies off her favorite blanket and they were having a convention under her bed. Then I shake out the rug, which apparently was long overdue because a small sandbox formed in the middle of the floor. Ah, thankfully the sweeping is over!

Now on to the big girls' room, but we will save that for another post!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Facebook Addiction?

Do you have a Facebook addiction? In his book "Will You Be My Facebook Friend", Tim Chester challenges his readers to view their use of Facebook and other social media in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This quick read will certainly cause you think seriously about your motives and time investment in social media.

However, I have a couple of concerns. First, Chester does mention that Facebook is a blessing to some people, but he only spends two and a half pages on the benefits and the rest of the book on the dangers of it. I feel this is an unbalanced assessment of social networking. But, I understand this may not be the main point of the book.

My other concern is that the tone of the book may not effectively communicate the purpose of the book. It comes across as a lecturing parent. If the target audience is teenagers and young adults who lack self-control in the use of social media, insulting them by calling them "nerdy students" (42) may turn them off from the amazing message of the gospel that can set them free of their social media addiction.

Image credit: Amazon.com

* Disclosure: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews  in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hope for the Weary Mom

Finally! A book for moms that is funny, relate-able, AND points women to the only true source of hope - Christ!! Mom bloggers turned authors - Thacker and McGlothlin - have made the difficult crossover successfully. Turning blog posts into a book with well written chapters, they give personal examples of how their struggles as moms are real and the only real source of strength and hope for any tired, worn-out mom is Jesus Christ.
I've read funny books that point to self as the answer. I've read Christ-centered books that are finger-pointing or unrealistic. It's hard to find a well-written book that is entertaining, encouraging and Christ-centered for moms who want to be real in their parenting and faith. This book is all that - I loved "Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess".

Image credit: Amazon.com

Friday, January 4, 2013

5. Save a little, share a lot

So, when I went to put away the "Save for sister" extra winter-wear, I was met with this huge monster of "Way too many hand-me-downs". Don't get me wrong - I am so thankful for friends and family who have over the years shared clothes with us when their kids have out-grown them. We have been very blessed!! In my goal to organize, however, I feel the need to share the love. So here is how I plan to tame this wild pile:

1. Reduce: Most of this pile is stuff that my oldest has out-grown that I'm saving for the other 2 girls. I'm going to guess however, that 2 tubs and 4 bags of girl's size 10-12 is probably more than one little girl can wear...ever. So each size only gets 2 tubs - one for winter clothes, one for spring/summer. Everything that doesn't fit in the tubs goes in the garage sale/donation pile.

2. Reuse (only what they will wear): I think I could fill several tubs with jeans, but my girls don't even like to wear them! So I will only keep 1-2 pair of nice jeans per size and get rid of the rest (hard choices!). I really have to think about what kinds of clothes my kids like wearing before I put them in the tub. Just because it's cute, doesn't mean it will get worn in this house - sorry sweaters, turtlenecks, and itchy material - you're out!

3. Recycle: I hate throwing away useful things - so I'll try to be creative here - ripped or torn clothes, you have 3 options:
A. mending pile - only if it will really be worn again
B. Rag pile - my hubby likes to use old t-shirts and such as rags when working in the garage
C. Craft pile - ripped jeans can be turned into all sorts of cute art projects. (I know I can only keep what will fit in the allotted craft space though).

4. Baby steps - obviously this task will be overwhelming if I try to attempt it all in one sitting - so, my goal will be to sort through one size at a time or spend 1 hour sorting, whatever comes first. I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

4. Baby it's Cold Outside

Project #4 - Cleaning out the coat closet

Between Christmas and New Year's we got several inches of snow. My kids love to play in the snow. Granted, it takes 20 minutes to get 4 kids bundled up and they usually only last outside for 45 minutes - it gets them out of the house, gets their bodies moving and wears them out (after several days of being cooped up, we all need this!)

This means we had to pull out all the hats, mittens, snowsuits - everything in the coat closet - to see what fits each kid. What a perfect opportunity to get rid of all the leftover stuff that doesn't fit anyone anymore!

1. Save for sister - with 3 girls, most stuff gets passed down -  those coats that don't fit the older two get packed away to save until someone grows into it.

2. Bye-bye misfits - I feel sad for lonely gloves - but after a thorough search for a mate - misfits get tossed.

3. Anything still in good shape that won't be passed down gets donated.

4. If we have more than 2 of something in any one size - the extras get donated - I know that there's many kids who don't have enough warm winter clothes to wear - it makes me so grateful that my kids have more than enough and all the more willing to share the surplus!!

3.1 Creative organizing for my Crafts

Project #3 The Craft Self

Or more accurately, the entire bookcase and desk and drawers and...
We really like arts and crafts in this house - my second daughter especially - she can turn anything into an art project and I mean anything!! But corralling all the supplies and finished projects has been, well to say the least, difficult. So here are my tips/goals for our art supplies:

1. My Scrapbooking Materials - ok, so I think I bit off more than I can chew with this project! I started off strong with this task - using a 3-drawer plastic storage container next to my craft desk for easy access. All my stamping stuff in one drawer, the paper scraps took a whole drawer and the top drawer for little things like pens, scissors, etc. Then, I found a pile of pictures and my organizing motivation was out the window! I wanted to sit and remember and show the kids what they looked like 3 years ago. So, I think I need a break from this project and will return when I have a better plan to resist the reminiscing long enough to finish the organizing!

2. The Kids craft shelf - haven't touched it with ten-foot pole - yet!!

3. My sewing stuff - not quite ready for this one yet either!

Look for future posts about tackling the craft supply monster!
P.S. I did use several of my leftover plastic containers from Project 2 to organize my Scrapbook supplies - yea for me!