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Kids, organization

Keeping our home tidy with 4 kids

July 6, 2017

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that we had 4 kids in 5 years. To say that our home was hard to manage on 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep is an understatement. Then, add homeschooling on top of that and I have felt as though I am drowning in a sea of clutter, fingerprints, and STUFF EVERYWHERE!! This was made even more challenging as our home is around 1000 sq.ft.

When the kids were little I tried EVERYTHING, and with consistency (most of the time 🙂 ) We had little chore charts with pictures on them that they had to cross off, dresser drawers with pictures of clothes so they knew where everything went. Our house was still a mess – all of the time. ALL. OF. THE . TIME. I felt as though all of the training we were doing was for nothing. I feel as though we are beginning to see the fruit of those hard training times.

Fast forward to now – the kids are older (11, 10, 8, 6) we have cranked the responsibilities of each child up a notch.  Now, each child has an area of the house that they are totally responsible for every day for a week. Our home has been broken into 4 “Zones”.

  1. Kitchen – Wash dishes, clear off and wipe down all counter tops, wipe kitchen table and stove. Use a cloth to wipe fingerprints off of fridge.
  2. Bathroom – Clean toilet (Bottom, under, behind), wipe down/clear clutter off of countertop, clean mirror, wipe door handles. Then go and help someone else.
  3. Vacuuming/Other – Vacuum both sets of stairs and landing. Vacuum all main rooms. Sweep Kitchen floor, Straighten shoe rack.
  4. Basement – Pick up everything off of the floor, put all pillows back on the couch, pick up any trash, vacuum.

Our youngest, who is 6 is able to do every job except for the dishes. So, every week we rotate these jobs for the kids to do. The benefit of breaking the house up this way, for a week at a time, is that the kids have all realized how much work it takes to keep the house clean. They understand, now, how frustrating it is to spend time cleaning an area only to have people come through and leave something laying out. It has also freed my time to do other things in our home that I have been unable to get to over the years (baseboards, cleaning out closets, and attic storage spaces, writing this blog post, running my shop)

The benefits for our family have been great. The kids are learning to be hard working individuals, to care for the things that God has intrusted to us and to be active members in the caring of our home. I still have to go around the house and straighten things and make them “mom clean” but I am praying that these harder days of training will reap our kids the benefits of being reliable human being as adults! 🙂 *here’s hoping!

What do you all do in your homes? I’d love to learn from you and see if there are methods that you are implementing that I could add to our routine! What works for you? What hasn’t worked for you? Are you on the otherside of training and have seen the benefits of it all? Help us moms have strength to get through these years.

Kids

What to do when you hear “Mom, I’m bored!”

June 20, 2017

Well friend, school’s out! I am sure you are so happy to have them home for the summer – but if you hear the phrase “MOM! I’M BORED” one. more. time! I get it. I do. So, before you kill them (or yourself!) try this little “formula” that has been saving us for a few years. I honestly don’t even have to answer them anymore. They have heard these 5 things so much that I can just give them the “hairy eye” and they know that if they haven’t hit this list – they will continue to be “bored” until they do.  The great part about this list – that isn’t original to me by the way- is that even the littlest person in your house can handle this list.

Here are a few ideas to help you implement it. 

  1. Be Creative: Have the kids color, build something with legos, do an art project (I totally recommend Art for Kids Hub. Every child in our home from age 11-6 has been able to leave one of these lessons creating a fun piece of art and it has boosted their confidence in their ability to create! We LOVE it!)
  2. Go Outside: Send them outside! Honestly, when kids are left to their imaginations and not bailed out with technology at the first sign of boredom they truly come up with the most fun little games for themselves. Don’t think your kid has an imagination? Give it a try! They may surprise you. Need another idea? Give them a bucket of these lightning fast water balloons Zuru Bunch O Balloons (Colors Vary) !
  3. Read a book: Make Mondays your Library day and head over to grab a stack of books so that you always have options on hand.  If you’re anything like us – you may want to designate a bin/basket in a central area of your home so that you are never looking for library books when it’s time to return them! Pair up your older kids with your little ones and have them read together!
  4. Exercise: I don’t know about you but it’s hard for me to fit exercise into my day – so, why not do it all together? Walk your dog, go for a bike ride, have the kids do laps around your house. They will burn off energy and it will entertain your neighbors!
  5. Be helpful: We have chore charts and “jurisdictions” in our home. These are personal jobs (their room, fun summer schoolwork) and House jobs (one child has to keep the kitchen clean for a week, another the bathroom) This helps the kids take ownership of an area, allows them to see how much work it takes to keep something in order, and lightens my own load a little. They are each encouraged to help someone else if they have a lighter job that week.  Kids can do more than we give them credit for. Sure, it’s faster for us to do everything – but why not raise independent adults! 🙂

Feel free to download my Boredom Chart and stick it on your fridge so that when the boredom bug bites your little cherubs – you have a game plan!

Happy Summer Mommas!

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