Thursday, April 26, 2012

Amanda's Cleaning Checklist

I am headed back to college starting this summer! Every semester when {D} goes back for his classes, I tell myself "you've got to go back and finish". Then I negotiate with myself and say "next semester". I seem to have conversations with myself like this a lot. I literally feel like one of those cartoons with a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. I have mental battles every morning when the alarm goes off to get on the treadmill too.

Anyway, going back to school is a goal of mine that I need to start on so I can be done by the time we have children.

I'm really nervous about going back to school.

I will probably want to quit come Christmas time. BUT to help prevent this quitter mentality, I am trying to plan for all the excuses I can think of now. My first excuse I could think of is: I won't be able to keep up with the housework and laundry.

What better way to keep track of something or keep up on something than a checklist!

I created a checklist with daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly and quarterly tasks. I searched the web for other ideas and made it work into my own. I am going to print this off and laminate it. This way I can use a dry-erase marker to check the items off as I do them.

Tidy Bedroom
Make Bed
Tidy Bathroom/vanity
Load/Unload dishwasher
Take out the trash

Fold Laundry/put away
Wash Sheets
Sweep/mop floors
Vacuum House
Clean our refrigerator
De-clutter kitchen table (we collect mail here)
Clean/disinfect bathrooms
Empty trash (Sunday night we put the trash by the curb)

Deep clean kitchen - clear everything off the counters and scrub
Dust house/furniture
Clean windows/mirrors - and anything else requiring glass cleaner
Organize - I normally have a project of some sort going

Wipe down walls - especially the kitchen and the bathrooms
Wipe/sanitize switch plates and door knobs
Purge magazines and other papers - homework and newspapers collect on my coffee tables
Wash throw rugs - I only have them in my bathrooms and kitchen

Clean oven - it's self cleaning so really I just have to wipe it out
Scrub inside of refrigerator
Deep clean kitchen cabinets
Dust/clean moldings around house.

What do you think? Am I missing any obvious chores? I hope this will help me stay on top of things around the house as I venture back to school. What do you do to stay organized when your plate is really full outside your home?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Rotating Toys = Mommy Sanity

I don't know about you but our family has acquired enough toys that rotating them has become necessary or we would look like a Toys R Us store.  Don't get me wrong, we purge, donate and throw away toys that are not played with or broken all the time. We just happen to have a big generous family who loves to buy our kids prizes.

 Welcome to our family room, don't be fooled by these pics, its almost never this clean.  This is the room in our house that is dedicated to our kids and their stuff.  I don't stress about it always being picked up or the room being spotless because it's meant for them and their stuff.  When toys migrate down to the kitchen or living room I make sure that it gets back upstairs so I can keep my sanity and have at least one area free of toys and clutter.

So let's talk rotating toys. I rotate toys at the beginning of the month because that it what works for me.  I have a big storage bin that holds the small toys that aren't out that month.   HB loves this day so he ended up in most of the pics.

The process of rotating toys is messy but don't worry the end result is a less cluttered space for you and your kids so keep the end goal in mind when your house looks like this.

Because I have a child that gets overwhelmed with to many choices I also rotate our kids DVDs each month.  Sometimes he asks for a movie that is put away and I tell him that it isn't out right now but we can remember to keep it out next month and he has always been fine with that.

This is a before pic of the movies we had out for March.

Here is what we put out after.  Notice that "Cars" and "Cars 2" are staying out?  I make sure to pay attention to what phase he is in at that point and right now its Cars so if I put it away I will be asked about it multiple times so its just easier to leave them out.

We also have several big items that I rotate.  The ones that are in storage fit under our clothes in mine and hubs closet or in HB's closet.  This month the easel got put away along with the basket of cars under it

and the tent came out.  After this pic I put a blanket and pillow down in there and some of his stuffed animals hang inside the tent for the month along with whatever else he puts in there himself.

Also, when I move these big things I will vacuum under them before putting something else in its place because I know that I am going to be to lazy to move them when I vacuum each week.

Tool Box went away

to make room for drums.

This shelf was home to a "Cars" swirly race track toy and a bead maze. We are keeping HB's Veggie Tales Pirate Ship and the cookie monster toss game there.

I try to have one type of each toy out so when the train track and trains went away the Car's race track came out. See what I mean?  Both track style transportation toys and if they were both out only one would be the favorite that month anyways. I always keep one of these bings for miscelaneous toys.

Little Peoples Zoo went away and the "Toy Story" toys came out...not sure where most of them were for this photo shoot.

He has several big trucks like these so he chooses two at a time to keep out.

Dinasours almost always stay out because he plays with them often and they don't take up much room.

Lego's went away and blocks came out.

"Car's" characters stayed out for a second month because he just added to this collection on his birthday so they are still a newer toy.  He has way more than these but he tends to have one with  him at all times so they get spread out.

And, what is this??? Could it be??? an empty basket which I'm sure will be filled up by the time you read this post.

What are your tips and tricks? Do you rotate toys?  Do you have a designated space like a toy room for your kids to play in?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fifteen Minute Boot Socks

These have been all over blog land and Pinterest and I've been wanting a pair forever, the only problem was that I didn't have any boots until Christmas (thank you hubs) to wear them with.

I've had different styles pinned on my "to do" board for a long time and just never got around to making any.  Living in the desert, I thought that I had missed my window to wear boots because we are already up in the 80's or higher every day.  Well, the other day we had a random cool day on a Sunday. I was determined to wear my boots one last time this year but I had never made any boot socks and was wishing I had.

After getting ready, I decided to make some right then and there (much to hubs dismay).  I scrounged around and found a tank that is old and stretched out but had nice lace on the bottom and a pair of hubs dress socks that he has never worn.

I planned to buy some lace originally but with only about a fifteen minute window to make them that was out of the question and using this tank made them free.

So, I cut off the lace bottom of the tank and cut it to size to fit around the upper part of my calf where they would sit.

I turned the right sides together and sewed with a straight stitch along the short sides.

Pinned them right sides together with the top of the socks.  When I sewed the lace on I stretched the top band of the sock out so that when it wasn't stretched it has a gathered look and so it stretches around my calf.

With one sock done and one to sew, I was hearing heavy sighs from hubs as he loaded the kids into the car for church.

Do that for each sock...finished

These were actually taken after church because I ran to the car carrying the socks and my boots and put them on in the car so we wouldn't be late.

Sorry for the pics not being great, some things you just can't do on your own so I had an adorable ten year old take them.