Posts Tagged ‘household stuff’

Is it odd that when I see the words “germ free” on a humidifier box, I immediately decide not to get that one because it’s full of chemicals?


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Need more time?

Since Tessa was born, I’ve been surprised at how fast the days fly by. It seems before I fully wake up for the morning, 3 or 4 days have passed and I don’t know what day or even what month it is. I keep forgetting to do important things that actually have a timeframe.

When we started Maeve Bridal, I subscribed to all kinds of email newsletters. I have no formal business training so I had to educate myself! One of the best resources I found was the E-Myth Insider. Since I haven’t been working for several months I had quit reading these regularly, but I opened one this morning and was reminded again of how applicable business sense is to managing a home effectively.

5 Ways to Eliminate Time Bandits” was the title that caught my eye. Ooh, I could use some new thoughts on that subject! Here’s the meat of the article and how I processed it for our home:

5 Time Bandit Busting Tips

  • Prioritize and Stay Focused Evaluate your daily tasks and prioritize. If nothing else gets done today, what are the one or two items that absolutely must be done? The most successful CEOs of Fortune 500 companies only focus on one or two priorities for a given day.

(My mom has told me that she always tried to accomplish one thing and clean one thing per day. You really can’t do much more than that some days when you have little kids, and finishing at least one task is always encouraging. I have to remind myself of this one, because I tend to try to do too many things and then crash and burn at the end of the day, or else get frustrated because I can’t get everything done. Slow and steady…)

  • Delegate as much as you can. Let go of the idea that nobody can do what you do the way that you do it! With the right systems in place, you can properly delegate the tactical work that keeps you from working on your business. There is critical distinction however, between delegating and abdicating, and you can read more about that here.

(We have been implementing allowance and chores for the first time around here. Consistency is always the challenge, but we’re making progress. I’ve also reorganized the girls’ toys so they can keep them clean by themselves – I’ll probably post about this soon. I’m hopeful it will cut way down on the clutter.)

  • Set and meet deadlines for yourself and your employees. Set reasonable deadlines for all jobs and stick to them. Hold yourself accountable just as you would an employee. It’s true; work expands to fill the available time so set expectations.

(I often tell Hannah, “The next time I see you, I want ______ to be finished.” She sometimes has a difficult time staying on task, so I’m working with her to finish something before moving on to something else. Also, it helps me to have a goal time to have everyone (including me) dressed and ready, with hair done. Once we start doing homeschool bookwork consistently, we’ll have a goal time to get started each day. Meeting those deadlines is hard some days, but that has to be okay too. )

  • Don’t postpone unpleasant tasks. Those “bitter pills” that you put off can come back to haunt you in so many ways. A situation may become more acute with time, not to mention the fact that it will be sitting in the back of your mind (or somebody else’s mind) becoming a distraction. It’s best to take care of important matters that are unpleasant immediately. Resolution is so much better than wasting precious time wondering “what if…”

(Laundry, anyone? 🙂 Flylady talks a lot about this subject too.  If you have something to do and are putting it off, it really just feels so much better to take care of it. The mountain of clean laundry that’s been in my room for oh…5 days…is calling my name here. Hmm…Tessa’s cloth diapers arrive tomorrow – I better stay caught up!)

  • Learn to say “No.” Beware of over commitment! You are the only one who can truly protect your time. Learn the art of saying “no” politely. If this seems daunting, try this: when confronted with an opportunity, don’t commit immediately. Take a moment to listen to your intuition and refer to your schedule; you may find that declining is the reasonable answer. People know you’re busy, it’s okay to set boundaries.

(This is one I am pretty good at, maybe too good. My sister Holly thinks I would stay in my house for weeks at a time if she’d let me…she might be right some weeks! 🙂 I enjoy our routine and the quiet of naptime…sometimes a little too much! Plus my house gets out of control when I’m gone very much – too much time spent getting everybody ready to take care of things. It’s just a season though. I can’t believe how fast Tessa is growing. Far too soon I’ll be running kiddos around. I like the quiet for now.

Any thoughts? How do these things apply in your home?

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I’ve been so excited to post this review!

My blog friend Shelly makes the coolest pouch-style baby carriers, and she was kind enough to make one for Tessa and me, and let us review it here. 🙂

As you can see, Tessa was thrilled.

I really love the simplicity of meeUp carriers. With most other carriers there’s a (sometimes big) learning curve while you figure out how to adjust everything properly. Because meeUps are made to your shirt size, they come “pre-adjusted” and all you have to do is throw it over your shoulder and put baby in. I also love that Shelly chooses new pretty fabrics to offer every season, and you get to pick your favorite! If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the price of baby carriers, you definitely need the check these out because they are very affordable. And you can even have a matching one made for your little girl and her baby doll. 🙂

My meeUp came wrapped with complete instructions on several different ways to carry the baby in it, including pictures. It was all tied up with a bow and almost looked too pretty to unwrap! Until Tessa can hold her head up we’re limited to the cradle carry like in this picture, but as she grows I can’t wait to try out the other ways of carrying her.

Baby wearing makes life so much simpler – dishes, laundry, shopping, and many other tasks that seem overwhelming and impossible because of a crying baby are peaceful and easy with a sleeping baby in a carrier. Tessa almost always goes to sleep within 10 minutes of being worn. Head over to meeUp baby carriers and check them out!

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Saving Money on Organic Food

I don’t know about you, but around here we’re trying desperately to save money on food. I found this article on Dr Mercola’s site this morning. There’s a link to this wallet guide that tells which produce is most important to buy organic, and which is fairly safe to buy conventional. Pretty nifty!

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Your Mothering Style

Some days, (yesterday, as an example) my own expectations for myself completely overwhelm me and make for a miserable day for me and the kids.

I was thinking about this, this morning. I am one of the few people I know who actually thinks their parents did a pretty great job raising them. Of course they had faults, but they did a great job. The issue arises from the fact that my personality type is completely opposite of my mother’s. So, I think she did a great job, but because our personalities are so different, there’s no way I will ever run my household exactly the same way. I would go nuts. But that is still the ideal in my mind. Anybody else deal with this?

I’ve had kids for three years (very short, but it feels long), and I still don’t know what I want my household to look like day-to-day.

Organized? Spontaneous? Structured? Free-flowing? Outside work? No outside work? Tone? Schedule? Housekeeping style?

Some days I think I have this figured out, and then on others I question it all…

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I’ve been starting to think about how I want to handle chores for our kids. Hannah is getting to the age where she can do some things. At this point, brushing her teeth, making her bed to the best of her ability, putting away the silverware, and putting toys in the toy basket are all things she can do. Audrey can even help pick up toys. I found this today. And this a few days ago. In fact, Dave Ramsey recommends starting to teach about money at age 3, along with giving an allowance.

Do your kids do chores? Any tips?

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The same methods never work forever.

This principle is underlined for me every time the girls learn something new and what worked before no longer works.

It’s also true of things like how I clean house.

Back when Hannah was a baby, I discovered Flylady.net. I had no idea how to systematically keep a house clean, so this was a revelation. I did it for a while, and had a sparkling clean house. It works, it really does.

However, I am a closet perfectionist, and I began to beat myself up for not fulfilling what I was “supposed to.” Life was not easy after Audrey was born, since I had a newborn and a 16 month old. I didn’t cut myself enough slack. So I burnt out, big time.

When we moved to this house I cleaned the whole thing from top to bottom because it had not been cleaned well after the former renter. Gross. It was Naaasty. But, as any of you who live in old houses will agree, old houses don’t clean all that well. You can clean them and clean them and they still look dirty. So, that provided further discouragement for me. Over the past couple of months, I have to admit that I gave up.

Now, I’m a perfectionist, as I said, so I don’t think we were living in filth, but I did as little as I could stand. Thus the talk on Monday of a housekeeper. However, after some soul-searching, I figured out that what I need is not a housekeeper or a new house, but a new attitude. We are living here so we can get out of debt, because we believe that’s what God wants us to do.

So, I need to figure out how to keep my house pleasant to live in, AND help us get out of debt.

I’m going back to flylady. The difference is, I’m learning to give myself, and others, grace. Flylady has some great systems that WORK. But, if I don’t get them all done everyday, I have not failed my family, and I understand that now.

So, here are some new habits I’m starting:
Start the dishwasher before I go to bed each night
Put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher during the day
Wipe down the bathroom counter and mirror, and brush out the toilet after I get ready

This is a good start. If I keep the kitchen counters clean, I might actually get to other things like, oh, sweeping the floor.

What works for you guys?

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