Friday, January 27, 2017
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Part of getting my house summer ready involves going through all the school stuff and either trashing it or saving it. For years I had no way to really store my kids stuff. A few years ago I saw some clear hanging file folder boxes on sale at Costco and I knew I had found my answer!
Each one of my kids has their own box with their name on it. Inside are hanging folders for each grade. Early Years, Preschool - 12th Grade. All papers and projects from the year go into the folder. School pictures, report cards, my favorite artwork or homework. There is also enough room that I also can keep things like their baby book, and other items too.
I scan all these items for scrapbooking purposes and then store them in their boxes. I try to do this each month. It is amazing how things don't pile up anymore when you have a place to put it!
Sunday, June 12, 2016
I made these chore charts 3 years ago and they work great! You know it's a keeper idea when I use it multiple years in a row!
Each year I usually do a bit of tweaking because they are all 1 year older. I have a summer time version and a school time version. This is a picture of our summer charts. Each kid gets their very own half sized clipboard with enough charts to last the summer. 1 paper lasts 1 week. Taped to the back of the clipboard is the cleaning chart of what I expect when they clean their bathroom and bedroom. And yes...for the "help Mom" chore I make them come up to me and say: "How can I help you today mom?"
I have found that having a chart is extremely helpful for my kids. Even my older kids sometimes need a reminder of what is expected each day. In our house you don't get paid for chores. You do your chores as part of our family to help our home stay nice and clean. Also, no one can go play with friends (or hang out if your older than 11 yrs old lol) until after 10am and not until your chores are done. If they dink around all morning and then their friend shows up at the door ready to play....sorry kiddo...not until your chores are done!
With 5 kids all trying to get chores done and me also trying to get my stuff done is another reason I love the charts. I need the charts! There is no way I can remember all of their stuff! If they say their chores are done I usually respond with: "okay, bring me your clipboard." I run down their list of chores and ask if each thing has been done. Lots of times there are a few things "forgotten" that need to be completed.
I have also found that most kids need structure and routines. Summertime is the hardest because they go from the structure of school to nothing unless you provide it for them. These chores take most my kids about an hour to complete. That is just a drop in the bucket of a beautiful summer day!
Organization makes me happy!
Friday, November 28, 2014
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Years ago as my oldest 2 were starting to become aware of money I scrambled to come up with a plan...."When do we start paying allowance?...Do we pay allowance for chores? How do we keep track of their tithing? Who keeps their spending money? Do they need wallets? "
To answer these questions I devised a system that worked for the last few years. First we decided that we DO NOT pay our kids for chores. Doing chores is a part of living in our family and we are all expected to help out. Next I purchased pencil pouches for each kid that had 2 zipper pockets. One was for their tithing and one was for their spending money. We kept these pouches in a cupboard in the kitchen but they were usually loose and shoved.
The older they got the more they just helped themselves to their spending money and eventually they just kept their spending money in their rooms or in their wallets. This has been working, but lately has been falling apart. First I must admit that I haven't been as diligent in paying them their allowance at the first of the month. So for weeks and weeks they keep asking and asking and usually the Mr. pulls the allotted cash out of his wallet and hands it over. Tithing getting paid... but not in the "lets figure out what 10% is" kind of way, but the "a dollar or two should cover it" kind of way. I really want my kids to understand the concept and knew that this wasn't going to achieve that goal.
Combine all that with my older boys approaching teenage hood and the possibility of earning more than just the allowance that we pay them I knew that it was time to revamp the plan.
Here were our new needs:
- still providing a place for them to store their tithing until they fill out their slips and pay it (10% of all income)
- get the kids started on adding to their own savings account instead of just us (10% of all income)
- teach them about saving up money for more expensive items they want while still having quick spending money
- teach them how to keep track of their money by learning to fill out a bank register
I saw a picture on Pinterest that sparked my new idea. It was the idea of a Family Bank!! The idea behind the bank is that all our kids would have a central place for their money. They will have a place to store their tithing, to store their savings until we deposit it into their real savings account, and a place for spending money that works like a debit account.
One of the troubles that my boys have been having is that they really want to save for things that cost more, but when that blasted ice cream truck comes around they quickly blow through any money they have access to with out thinking.
Time for a change...
First I went to the store and bought a binder and after a little searching I found the type of pencil pouch that I needed. I wanted one with 3 separate zippered pouches. These particular pouches have 3 ring grommets to put into a binder and have 2 pockets on one side and a larger one on the back. I purchased one for each of my kids including the younger 2 (they don't need them yet, but how many times have I found the PERFECT thing and only purchased what I needed for the older kids and then when I needed it for the younger ones I can't find it anywhere!) I labeled each one with the kids name and then labeled each pocket. The front two pockets are for tithing and savings and the back pocket is labeled spending.
Here is how it works:
We pay our kids $1 for each year they are old, once a month. So my oldest is 11 and receives $11 a month. When it is time to pay allowance I get it all in cash and even get the necessary dollars in coins so that they can pay their tithing and savings exactly. So for my oldest I set out $11. $10 in dollar bills and $1 in coins. We sit down together and open up the Family Bank binder. He puts $1.10 in his tithing pouch, $1.10 in his savings pouch and then the remaining $8.80 is left for spending. He then decides how much he wants to put into his spending pouch and how much to put into his wallet. This can be different each month. The idea behind this is that the money placed into the spending pouch works like a debit account. The rest is wallet money that can be spent willy nilly on all the ridiculous ice cream or otter pops from the corner stand he wants . Before withdrawing from his spending pouch he has to come to me (his "debit card" mom) and request to take money out. I created sheets that look like a check register where they record all deposits and withdrawals. This extra step helps them think first if they REALLY wants to spend it. If they do it is their choice.
Because all deposits and withdrawals are recorded my kids are really able to see where their money comes from and where it goes. Every time they earn money they go through this process....tithing, savings, and dividing up their spending. Sometimes they want all their spending money to be wallet $...that is totally fine.
My hope in doing all of this is that by the time my kids are ready to be on their own they will have the knowledge they need to manage their money wisely through paying their tithing, saving, and learning to spend properly!
I love love love this!!!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I just LOVE being organized!
I am also a firm believer in putting things where you normally use them too!
I don't know how many times I used to walk up stairs to get lotion after doing the dishes before I realized that I could just put a small bottle in my kitchen cabinet, or how many times I would go into the nursery to grab a diaper for my 2 year old (yes..I have 2 in diapers) when I never change him in the nursery...before I finally decided to make another bin and put his diaper stuff on top of his dresser (yes...I change him on the floor).
One thing I have learned about being "efficiently mommy organized" is that sometimes it means having multiples of the same thing... just in different places!!
Do you have childhood memories of your mom's purse? I do! It seemed like my mom had just about everything in her purse...need a nail file? a cough drop? how about headache medicine? or a pair of scissors? She seriously could have had a hammer in there and I wouldn't have been surprised!
I have discovered that becoming a well organized mommy isn't something that happens the moment you have a baby...or 4...it happens as needs arise and you look for a way to solve that problem in a way that works for your family.
Like I have said before...sometimes being an organized mommy means having multiples of the same thing just in different places. (I don't know how many times I have needed something and thought, "Oh! I have that...just not with me...it's at home!)
As my kids started growing older I noticed that when we were out and about I found myself needing things that I didn't have like a band aid or a wipe for sticky hands. So a few years ago I made these awesome pouches...
I made a list of things that we often need all the time.
- hand sanitizer
- tissue pouch
- hot hands
I made 3 of these pouches. One is in my purse...one is in our church bag...and one is in our family car. The great thing about having it all zipped up in one little pouch is that you can move it where you need it...are you a gal that changes purses often? Now you just move your pouch over too instead of needing to empty all your purse pockets!
We tend to go through the lotion and tissues the fastest! ; )
In keeping with this pattern of thought is why my "boy" hair bucket is in my kitchen pantry..."Why the pantry?" you might be asking yourself...well because I usually do my boy's hair after they eat breakfast right before they walk out the door. So to be "efficiently mommy organized" I don't put it in their bathroom...I put it where I use it!
- nail clippers
Also here is a picture of one of my favorite bath time MUST HAVE items. It is a huge bath cup that I bought at Wal-Mart a few years back. I makes washing out shampoo super easy! (It also makes filling up a baby bathtub a breeze too!)